Driving Directions to the Array Operations Center
It should be noted that the Array Operations Center has no
tourist facilities; these directions are provided as a courtesy to
visiting scientists and those arriving for official buisness.
From Albuquerque International Airport to Socorro
The Array Operations Center is located in Socorro, New Mexico,
about seventy five miles South of the nearest large airport in
Albuquerque. The trip from Albuquerque Airport to Socorro takes
just over an hour by car.
- Leave airport on Sunport Blvd. -- stay to your left on the
exiting lane of the parking lot; you will then be heading West.
Sunport Blvd. isn't on the Web map, but there are obvious signs
posted at the airport.
- Cross over the bridge and turn left at the stop sign -- this will
put you on I-25 going South.
- Leave airport on Yale Blvd, which will get you heading north
(you have no choice on this).
- The second stoplight on Yale will be Gibson Blvd. Turn left
- After a few blocks, you'll see I-25. Take it going South (a
When you see the exit for Socorro (exit 150), take
it. This will put you on California Avenue, the main street in
town, going South.
From Las Cruces to Socorro
The Array Operations Center is about one hundred and fifty miles
North of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The trip by car takes just over
- Take I-25 north from Las Cruces, and take either the first
(exit 147) or second (exit 150) exit for Socorro. Exit 147 will
put you on California Avenue, the main street in town, going
North; exit 150 will put you on California Avenue going South.
Finding the AOC in Socorro
- Make your way to Bullock Road:
- If you are coming from the North (Albuquerque):
- Exit 150 from I-25 drops you on the main street,
- Continue on California (South) until you reach
Bullock. This will be the second stoplight. Bullock is just
past the Taco Bell and just before the Kentucky Fried
Chicken; if you pass Subway, Denny's, or Pizza Hut, you've
gone too far. Take a right (west) on Bullock.
- If you are coming from the South (Las Cruces):
- Exit 147 from I-25 drops you on the main street,
California Avenue, heading North.
- Continue on California (North) until you reach Bullock
(currently the fifth stoplight). Bullock is just past the
Kentucky Fried Chicken and just before the Taco Bell; if you
pass McDonald's, you've gone too far. Take a left (West) on
- Heading West on Bullock, you will stop at two stop
signs. After the second, you will see the campus of New Mexico Tech
on your left.
- Before 10:30 pm:
- Go straight on. After another block, the
road will curve to the left. As it does so you will see a sign
on your right saying National Radio Astronomy Observatory
and/or Array Operations Center. Turn into that parking lot -- it will
be the first possible turn during the curve, on your right -- and
park anywhere. Walk north to the AOC.
- After 10:30 pm:
- After 10:30pm various barricades go down and block the
simple route outlined above. So instead, turn left at the
second stop sign on Bullock, just before the Tech
campus. Continue (South) along this road, passing New Mexico
Tech and the soccer field on your right; then turn right
(West) at the second stop sign (Neel Street). Neel Street
circles around the NMT campus from the other side, and
changes names, becoming Olive Lane at the first stop sign
(you bear left). Continue along this road past another stop
sign, and turn into the second parking lot on your
left. Directly ahead you will see Macey Center, the NM Tech
music center; to your right, through the parking lot, is the
AOC. You can park anywhere, but you might as well park as
close to the AOC as possible -- this parking lot serves both
Macey Center and the AOC.
- During business hours, check in with the receptionist at the
front desk; otherwise, use the phone outside the front door
to call the VLBA correlator operator at 835-7252, and (s)he'll let you in.
- Once you're inside, check your mailbox for a packet containing
various instructions, a card-key to the building, and
possibly a key to your room if you're staying at the guest
house. The mailboxes are located behind the big staircase
that confronts you when you enter; visitors' mailboxes are
on the far right.