The Core Sites
The RAEGE Core Site is placed in Piquinhos, close to São Pedro, in the Santa Maria island (Azores) at an altitude of 247 m.
The station has a VGOS-type radio telescope and a control building which houses three pillars for the installation of gravimeters and seismographs. At present, a GRAVITON-EG 1183 gravimeter from LaCoste & Romberg, a Centaur-3/Trillium 120PA seismograph from Nanometrics, and a SILEX accelerograph built at the National geographic Institute of Spain, are installed and run continuously. The Centaur-3 seismograph is fully operational since June 2017 and is part of the International Seismological Centre (ISC) in which is known as ES.VPORT.
At Santa Maria, there is also an auxiliary building with workshop tools and power supply.
The VGOS 13.2m radiotelescope “Colombo”, was constructed in 2014 and is now part of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS). It is equipped with a tri-band receiver (S, X and Ka) developed at Yebes laboratories. The first VLBI observation was carried out on February 2018 and since then, it is participating routinely in R1, R4 and intensive type sessions.
A hydrogen maser (H-MASER) atomic clock is used to synchronize all equipment involved in the VLBI observations. An iMaser from T4Science is in charge of providing the extremely stable timing signals required by the VLBI technique.
VLBI is not the only geodetic space technique being used at Santa Maria. Two permanent GNSS stations are also installed and integrated in the International (IGS), European (EUREF) and Azorean (REPRAA) regional networks. AZSM GNSS station, part of the REPRAA Azorean regional network, is based on a Leica GRX1200GG Pro receiver and a LEIAT504 LEIS antenna, and started operation in May 2017. RAEG station is working since May 2015 and is based on a Leica GR25 receiver and AR20 antenna.