Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 517
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Radio and Geoastronomy Division
The Radio and Geoastronomy Division was formed in fiscal year 1979 by the combination of two existing divisions: Radio Astronomy and Geoastronomy. The first of these two was formed in 1973 under the reorganization of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) conducted by new director George B. Field. Arthur Edward Lilley (b. 1928), professor of radio astronomy at Harvard University, was appointed associate director of the observatory in charge of this division, a position he retained through the merger until the end of calendar year 1986. The Division of Geoastronomy was formed in 1970 under the direction of George Charles Weiffenbach (b. 1921), who joined the staff in 1969. At the time this was one of the few divisions into which the observatory was divided, and it retained its identity under Field's 1973 reorganization. Weiffenbach retained the directorship until 1976, when John C. Gregory took over as acting associate director until the merger of the two divisions.
These records were created primarily by Arthur Edward Lilley as head of the division. Basic administrative files include information on the Northeast Radio Observatory Corporation (NEROC) and its Haystack Observatory in Westfield, Massachusetts; international astronomical organizations; and projects of two investigators of the division, Mario Grossi and Giuseppe Colombo. A second series of files concerns the Satellite Tracking Program, chiefly including material in support of SAO's NASA contract for FY 1980; a proposal to support the Goddard Space Flight Center in its Laser Tracking Network, including the proposal to take over the network completely; information about foreign tracking stations; and information about relocating a tracking station to India through agreement with the India Space Research Corporation (ISRO).
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Lilley, Arthur Edward
- Grossi, Mario D.
- Colombo, Giuseppe, 1920-1984
- Field, George B., 1929-
- Weiffenbach, George Charles
- Gregory, John G.
- Northeast Radio Observatory Corporation
- Haystack Observatory
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Satellite Tracking Program
- United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Goddard Space Flight Center
- Goddard Laser Tracking Network
- India Space Research Organization
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 517, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Radio and Geoastronomy Division, Records