INTERNATIONAL RADIO ASTRONOMY CENTER
Near Ventspils, a city on Baltic Sea, in Irbene there is a 32-meter
fully steerable parabolic, centimetre-wave range antenna RT-32 and a 16-meter
diameter antenna RT-16. They were taken over by the Latvian Academy of
Sciences after withdrawal of the Russian army from Latvia in 1994. On
the basis of these antennas and accompanying facilities of the former
Space Communication Center, the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy
Center (VIRAC) has been established.
The main purpose of the VIRAC is to take part in observations of cosmic
sources of natural and artificial radiation in order to accumulate observational
data for fundamental and practical research programs in radio astronomy,
astrophysics, cosmology, geophysics, geodynamics, geodesy, coordinate-time
service and other.
Currently one of the main VIRAC goals is to become a member of the European
VLBI Network (EVN).
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ventspils radio telescopes on the 22nd of July, 2004,
VIRAC, RIXC and
r a d i o a q u a l i a
"RT-32 - the real and the virtual space".