Central Development Laboratory

The mission of the CDL, headquartered in in Charlottesville, Virginia, is to support the evolution of NRAO’s existing facilities and provide the technology and expertise needed to build the next generation of radio astronomy instruments. This is accomplished through development of the enabling technologies: low noise amplifiers, millimeter and sub-millimeter detectors, optics and electromagnetic components including feeds and phased arrays, digital signal processing, and new receiver architectures. CDL staff have developed and produced these critical components and subsystems not only for NRAO’s telescopes, but also for the worldwide astronomical community for ground and space-based instruments. Technical innovations developed or enhanced at the CDL have contributed to improvements in communications antennas, transistors, cryogenic coolers, medical and scientific imaging, time and frequency standards, atomic clocks, GPS navigation, 911 emergency call location, and precision spacecraft navigation. NRAO technology increases our understanding of the Universe and contributes to American competitiveness.

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