Yebes Observatory is currently the most important technological development center (CDT) in IGN, classified as a Spanish Large Scale Scientific Facility (ICTS).
Located about 70 km from Madrid, in the town of Yebes (Guadalajara), at an altitude of 980 meters above sea level, it has good conditions for radio astronomical observations, since the average precipitable water vapor is 6 mm (down to 2 mm reached in winter). The wind speed is less than 5 m/s for 90% of the time and the number of days with snowfall is less than one week per year.
In addition to the domes that house the instruments of observation, Yebes CDT has advanced receiver laboratories on site (low noise amplifiers, quasi-optics etc) that allows the dedicated team of more than 20 engineers and astronomers present to develop and optimize new and existing receivers. The R&D undertaken in the Yebes CDT under the mandate of IGN permits it to share information and resources with other important radio observatory in Spain, like the IRAM radio telescope at Pico Veleta in Granada. This collaboration also permits the free exchange of ideas and personnel with IRAM´s facilities in France and Spain and facilitates technology exchanges between sister institutes in other European countries which participate in the EVN.
The development of instruments for astronomical applications at Yebes CDT began in the late 1970s, after the installation of a 14-meter diameter radio telescope for millimeter wave which was fitted with receivers, a computer control system, and spectrometers for signal analysis.
In 2008 the construction of a 40-meter diameter radio telescope was finished, dedicated to millimeter and centimeter-wave Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) and single-dish observations. It currently has installed receivers working in S-band (2.2 – 2.37 GHz), CH-band (3.22 – 3.39 GHz), C-band (which is split in two sub-bands, 4.56 – 5.06 GHz and 5.9 – 6.9 GHz) , X-band (8.15 -9GHz), K-band (21.77 – 24.45 GHz), and W-band (85-110 GHz). A new Q-band (40-49 GHz) receiver is also in operation.
In Yebes CDT there are also located a GPS geodetic station, a pavilion of gravimetry, two optical telescopes (one double astrograph of 40 cm aperture and a solar telescope 15 cm aperture), a pavilion of scientific and facilities for residence and dining, and a visitors’ center.
The RAEGE 13.2m "Jorge Juan" radio telescope at Yebes is finished and operational; the station, equipped with the new broadband receiver, has participated in the first intercontinental VGOS observation in june 2016 (see the Aug2016 IVS Newsletter).
The activities for the construction of the 13.2 meter radio telescope is being cofinancied 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 €.
Link to Spanish "Boletín Oficial del Estado"
The Yebes station, equipped with the new broadband receiver, has participated in the first intercontinental VGOS observation in june 2016 (see http://ivscc.gsfc.nasa.gov/publications/newsletter/issue45.pdf).