Yebes Observatory is a technological development center of the
Located 70 km northeast from Madrid, in the town of Yebes (Guadalajara), at an altitude of 980 meters above sea level, Yebes Observatory houses two radio telescopes of 40 m and 13.2 m, which are its main astronomical instruments.
The 40-m radio telescope was installed in 2008 and is currently dedicated to millimeter and centimeter-wave Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) and single-dish observations. Receivers cover the frequency spectrum between 2 to 120 GHz. The 40 m radio telescope is part of the European VLBI network ( ) and the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry ( ).
The RAEGE 13.2-m radio telescope, "Jorge Juan", is equipped with a broadband receiver and used in geodetic observations. The radio telescope was integrated into the VGOS network in 2016.
Yebes Observatory also holds two GNSS geodetic stations, "YEBE" and "YEB1", belonging to the Spanish National Geodetic Network of GNSS Reference Stations (). YEBE Station has a Trimble Net R9 receiver and a TRM29659 antenna and is also included in the EUREF Permanent GNSS network ( ) and the International GNSS Service ( ) network. YEB1 Station has a Leica GRX1200 receiver and a LEIAR25 antenna.
In addition, Yebes counts with a gravimetry pavilion where a FG5 absolute gravimeter, a A10 gravimeter and a superconducting gravimeter are used.
There are also electronics and electrochemical laboratories where amplifiers, detectors and receivers are developed. An anechoic antenna-measuring chamber and auxiliary buildings with generators, transformers and groups of uninterrupted power are also part of the Observatory. There is also a pavilion with scientific personal offices and facilities for residence.
Yebes Observatory is well equipped technologically and has a 10 Gb/s connection to the Spanish scientific network Red Iris-NOVA.
Yebes Observatory receives more than 6.000 visitors a year. To visit the Observatory, go to the website:
The activities for the construction of the 13.2 meter radio telescope were co-financied by ERDF/FEDER 2007-2013 under the project: "VGOSYEBES: Radiotelescopio de VLBI Geodesico y Astrometrico para su integracion en la red VGOS" with a budget of 4.250.000 €.
Construction of the radio telescope:
The construction of Yebes RAEGE radio telescope began at the end of 2010 when the contract for the design, construction, and commissioning of the first three radio telescopes was awarded to MT Mechatronics (Germany). The design of the radio telescopes was completed in the summer of 2011. During 2011 and 2012, the backstructures of the three radio telescopes were built by Asturfeito (Cantabria, Spain). Other parts of the radio telescopes, such as the reflector panels, were fabricated by COSPAL Composites in Italy.
The construction of the radio telescope started with the search for a stable foundation. A drilling campaign carried out in Yebes showed good soil conditions. The digging for the concrete tower foundation was followed by the construction of the tower. Then the azimuth cabin was lifted, the reflector was placed, and finally the system was levelled and adjusted.
Nowadays, new activities are cofinancied by ERDF/FEDER 2017-2020 under the proyect “YDALGO: Infraestructuras de desarrollo y actividades de laboratorio para geodesia especial en el Observatorio de Yebes”, with a budget of 9.490.000 €. They include the construction of an SLR system and a new technological building fully equipped with radiofrequency instrumentation and workshop tools.
The installation of a new generation SLR station will turn Yebes Observatory into a Geodetic Fundamental Station, unique in Spain, fulfilling the requirements of GGOS (Global Geodetic Observing System), counting with three geodetic measurement techniques: VLBI (VGOS), GNSS and SLR, as well as gravimetry (absolute and relative superconducting) and time and frequency systems. The different techniques will be located at the same place and will be spatially related to each other through a local geodetic network (local tie). Currently, there are only 7 stations around the world that have these three techniques simultaneously, so Yebes Observatory will become in one of the most important Core Sites worldwide.