Radio Astronomy

Commission J activities are concerned with observation and interpretation of all radio emissions and reflections from celestial objects. Emphasis is placed on the promotion of technical means for making radio-astronomical observations and data analysis as well as the support of activities to protect radio-astronomical observations from harmful interference.

Updated: July 30, 2013

Special Announcements

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Jim Moran (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) will give the Commission J "Lessons from History" lecture at the 2014 National Radio Science Meeting in Boulder! Jim also received the 2013 Reber Medal for significant and innovative contributions to radio astronomy! Congratulations, Jim!

The dates for the 2014 NRSM are Wednesday, January 8th through Friday, January 10th. Unfortunately, there will be some overlap with the 223rd AAS meeting scheduled for January 5th through January 9th in National Harbor, MD. More details are given below.

Please consider submitting an abstract to the upcoming National Radio Science Meeting. USNC-URSI-J has a very interesting lineup of sessions covering 21cm Cosmology, Wide Field Imaging, Power Spectrum Measurement, and Radio Astronomy from Space. You can also report on your latest instrument in the session devoted to new telescopes, techniques, and observations. We are also planning a tutorial session again this year, with the Commission J keynote presentation given by Dr. Jim Moran. Additional information is provided below. If you are interested in submitting an abstract please contact the appropriate Chair or Co-Chair of the session. The website for abstract submission will be open in August.

We need your contributions to the new section of our website: "Membership Activities." This section is devoted to brief news items from the membership of USNC-URSI-J. Have you recently returned from an adventure to a remote field site? Have some interesting results to share? Please send the Chair, Rich Bradley, a brief description and a photo or two as well as a link to a website for further information, if needed.

Many of the Commission J presentations are now available here at our Commission J website. These are open-access to everyone. If you would like your presentation included, please send a PDF copy to either your Session Chair or me. Of course, posting is completely voluntary. We will post exactly what is sent in reply to the request (not the original). Hence, at your discretion, the presentation may be slightly modified from that presented at the conference to remove sensitive information. In addition, sending a copy to us for posting implies that we have permission from all of the authors to post the presentation. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from all of the authors. If you would also like to share the PPTX or other version (perhaps containing animations, etc.) please provide a hyperlink to a copy in that format that is located elsewhere.

Contributions of newsworthy items that are of interest to the membership are always welcome.

Commission J e-Newsletters




Member Activities

This section of the website is devoted to brief news items from the membership of USNC-URSI-J. Have you recently returned from an adventure to a remote field site? Have some interesting results to share? Please send the Chair, Rich Bradley, a brief description and a photo or two as well as a link to a website for further information.

From Jaap Baars:

I have completed a book with the working title "International Radio Telescope Projects - A life among their designers, builders and users". It contains "documentary stories" of the projects I have been intimately involved in.

Title: "International Radio Telescope Projects" - "a life among their designers, builders and users"

Author: Jacob W,M, Baars

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publisher (an Amazon Company)

ISBN-13: 978-1483933276; ISBN-10: 148393327X

Paperback, 168 pages, 60 colored illustrations

Available at and its European sites and from the following URL:

List price US $ 29, Euro 24.

Jaap Baars (Guest Scientist Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy)

Upcoming National Radio Science Meeting

USNC-URSI 2014 National Radio Science Meeting : January 8-10 in Boulder, CO

Go to for abstract submission.

Commission J Tentative Topics

Hydrogen Based Cosmology

Chair: Jack Burns, Co-Chair: Steve Furlanetto;

Wide Field Imaging and Power Spectrum Measurements

Chairs: Miguel Morales,Co-Chair: TBD

Radio Astronomy from Space

Chair: Joe Lazio; Co-Chair: TBD

New Telescopes, Techniques, and Observations

Chair: Dave DeBoer; Co-Chair: Rich Bradley

Timely Technical Tutorials

Chair: Rich Bradley; Co-Chair: Dave DeBoer

There are ten 20 minute talks per each regular session and four 40 minute tutorials. We will also have our keynote presentation, Lessons from History, to be given by Dr. Jim Moran (CfA).

NRSM Commission J Presentations Archive

Boulder 2013

USNC-URSI Commission J Information

USNC-URSI-J Current Officers

Chair: Rich Bradley (NRAO and U. Virginia)

Vice-Chair: David DeBoer (U.C. Berkeley)

Secretary: Jeff Mangum (NRAO)

National Academy of Sciences Representative: Ken Kellermann (NRAO)

American Astronomical Society Representative: Joe Lazio (NASA JPL)

International URSI

URSI Commission J Chair: Justin Jonas (Rhodes University, South Africa)

URSI Commission J Vice-Chair: Willem Baan (ASTRON, Netherlands)

USNC-URSI Business Address

 Kathie Bailey-Mathae
Director, Board on International Scientific Organizations The National
Academies 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

Commission J Business Meeting Minutes

NRSM 2011

NRSM 2012

NRSM 2013

Commission J Membership Roster

Here (Updated: March19, 2013)

Membership Nominations

Please consider nominating someone for membership in USNC-URSI Commission J. The required qualifications for membership in the Commission are technical competence and interest in the activities of URSI. Students are encouraged to become involved - they can be nominated for non-voting Associate Membership. This is a three year term that can be renewed once for a total of six years. Guidelines for membership and the on-line nomination form can be found at the usnc-ursi membership nomination web page. The membership will vote on the nominees during the Boulder Commission J Business Meetings in January.

Reference Documents

U.S. National Committees Introductory Guide

2010 USNC-URSI Meeting Survey Results

Employment Opportunities

Positions that are of potential interest to our membership are posted here. If you would like a position listed, please send the posting information to the USNC-URSI-J Chair. A description of a newly posted position will appear in the e-Newsletter, with links to the website appearing in subsequent issues until the position is filled.

Experimental Observational Cosmology (Senior Research Associate)

Applications are invited for a Senior Research Associate position in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics of The University of Chicago to work in the field of experimental observational cosmology. The successful candidate will perform research in collaboration with the South Pole Telescope project. The appointment term is indefinite, subject to satisfactory academic review every three years.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. degree in physics, astronomy, or a related field; a minimum of 6 years of post-Ph.D research experience in the measurement of the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), in the detection and cosmological analysis of structure formation in the universe, and in the development and use of low-noise, cryogenic millimeter and submillimeter receivers and optical systems for astronomical observations.

Applicants must apply through the University of Chicago's Academic Jobs website here, and upload a curriculum vitae with a list of publications, a cover letter, and statement of research interests. In addition, three letters of reference will be required. Referral letter submission information will be provided during the application process. Screening of applications will begin on July 15, 2013 and continue until the position is filled.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer.

Radio Science, a fully refereed journal published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and cosponsored by URSI, carries original scientific contributions on all aspects of electromagnetic phenomena related to physical problems. These contributions can include propagation through and interaction of electromagnetic waves with geophysical media, biological media, plasmas, and man-made structures. Coverage includes, but is not limited to, the application of electromagnetic techniques to radio astronomy, the ionosphere, remote sensing of the Earth and its environment, telecommunications, and signals and systems. All frequencies (including optical) are considered.