- Green Bank Observatory - http://greenbankobservatory.org -

4/13/16: All Quiet on the West Virginia Border: The National Radio Quiet Zone

Hackaday_2016Ask a hundred people why they like to escape to the forest and you’ll probably get a hundred reasons, but chances are good that more than a few will say they seek the peace and quiet of the woods. And while the woods can be a raucous place between the wildlife and the human visitors, it is indeed a world apart from a busy city street, at least in the audio frequencies. But on the EM spectrum, most forests are nearly as noisy as your average cube farm, and that turns out to be a huge problem if you happen to run exquisitely sensitive radio receivers.

Like so many aspects of our contemporary technological life, the NRQZ can trace its roots all the way back to the Cold War era. When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and started the Space Race, the US was far behind and knew it. Playing catch-up involved building all the infrastructure needed to support a space-faring culture, and radio astronomy was a big part of those early efforts. Finding a convenient place to build that infrastructure that was not subject to a lot of interference was an imperative.

Published by: hackaday.com.  See more at: http://hackaday.com/2016/04/13/all-quiet-on-the-west-virginia-border-the-national-radio-quiet-zone/ [1]