Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) is a not for profit educational corporation organized in 1946 and chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York. AUI is committed exclusively to serving the broad national interest by constructing, managing, and operating large scientific projects and facilities effectively, and with the utmost integrity. In achieving this goal, it draws heavily on the guidance, active participation, and competence of dedicated and knowledgeable scientists, engineers, and other professionals elected to the AUI Board of Trustees. The AUI Board of Trustees, including its Board Committees, hold the authority and fiduciary obligation for all AUI activities and doing so, are responsible for oversight of AUI programmatic and administrative operations activities.
AUI manages and operates the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for the National Science Foundation. In addition, AUI is a co-partner with the Association for Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO), LLC.
AUI Corporate Office
The AUI Corporate Office is located at 1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 730, Washington, DC. The AUI Corporate Office houses the Corporate Office staff, which includes the Corporate Officers (President; Corporate Treasurer, Corporate Secretary, Vice President – Administration; and Corporate Controller/Chief Financial Officer and Associate Vice President for Administration) and staff (Vice President for Programs, Executive Assistant to the President, Executive Assistant to the Corporate Secretary, and Administrative Assistant/Office Manager.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is an institution that specializes in radio astronomy and is managed and operated by the Associated Universities, Inc. NRAO has no separate legal status or existence, and is funded under Cooperative Agreements AST 0223851 and AST-0836064 (the Agreements), between AUI and National Science Foundation (NSF). Performance of the work under these Agreements is authorized on a periodic basis by NSF by increasing the budget authority through contract modifications. The Agreements can be terminated by NSF in whole or, from time to time, in part, whenever NSF shall determine such termination is in the best interest of the United States Government. In December 2007, the National Science Board (NSB) authorized NSF to proceed with the noncompetitive renewal of the Agreement for the operation of the Observatory by AUI through September 30, 2015. As a result of negotiations with NSF, AUI will continue its management of NRAO under the Agreements. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) construction activities, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects, and several smaller programs will be conducted under Cooperative Agreement AST-0223851, which has been extended through September 30, 2012. AUI will manage NRAO’s operations activities under Cooperative Agreement AST-0836064 for the period October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2015.
NRAO operates the following major projects:
- The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) located in Green Bank, West Virginia.
- Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) located in the Altiplano of northern Chile, known as the Llano de Chajnantor.
- Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) located in Socorro, New Mexico, which consists of 27 antennas.
- Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) has one antenna located at each of ten sites in various U.S. states and territories.
- NRAO Technology Center (NTC) located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The NTC performs innovative research and development that yields the necessary instrumentation and processing advances for NRAO facilities.
The Virtual Astronomical Observatory, LLC. (VAO, LLC) is an independent, non-profit scientific management organization that was established through the cooperation of the Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA). The VAO, LLC is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors, who have appointed two Company Officers (AURA’s Vice President for Administration serves as the VAO, LLC Treasurer and AUI’s Chief Financial Officer serves as the VAO, LLC Secretary) and the VAO Director. The VAO Director is an AURA employee and the VAO Business Manager is an AUI employee. The VAO Business Manager reports programmatically to the VAO Director and administratively to the AUI Chief Financial Officer. The VAO, LLC office is co-located with the AUI Corporate Office.
The VAO will provide a new phase in science services for data access and exploration for the astronomical community. Through the VAO and international VO facilities, astronomers have access to astronomical data from catalogs and archives worldwide, and access to the tools and services required utilizing and analyzing these data.