Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) Ltd has signed an agreement for a consortium of universities to use the large telescopes for radio astronomy purposes.
The consortium of Universities “CUGA” includes many of the UK’s leading radio astronomers.
Chair of CUGA, professor Melvin Hoare of the University of Leeds, said “This is a fantastic opportunity which enables a number of universities to utilise the incredible assets at Goonhilly that GES Ltd have saved.
“We are very excited at the prospect of using the Goonhilly telescopes to conduct front-line research, develop and test new technology and provide first class hands-on training opportunities for our students. We also look forward to growing the membership of CUGA to include further universities from both the UK and abroad.”
GES’ operations director for GES Ltd, Piran Trezise, said “This deal with CUGA represents the next piece in the jigsaw by bringing in university-based researchers to enable world-class research to be carried out right here on site.
“This is an important aspect of the development of the Space Science Park at Goonhilly, whereby leading research can be undertaken and the public will be able to experience first-hand the exciting world of astronomy. It is also great news for Cornwall as this deal will facilitate the location of high calibre staff, students and associated industry into the region.”
Meanwhile, GES is continuing to pursue public funding to support the considerable private investment needed for Goonhilly’s redevelopment. CEO Ian Jones said: “Our intention is to place Goonhilly firmly back at the forefront of pioneering technology by re-purposing existing infrastructure and one of our key goals is to promote space and science.
“It is fantastic so many of the UK’s, and indeed the world’s, leading astronomers will conduct leading research from Goonhilly. The potential and calibre of science this agreement helps to enable is inspiring. This is a fantastic start to a project and represents the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be achieved at Goonhilly.”