NATIONAL RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY ARCHIVES
Finding Aid to the Papers of Kenneth I. Kellermann, 1965-2011
See also the Papers of Woodruff T. Sullivan III, which include a 75 minute oral interview with Kellermann conducted in 1975.
Location of collection: National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Archives, 520 Edgemont Rd., Charlottesville, VA. Phone: 1-434-296-0203, email: archivist at nrao.edu
Title and dates of the collection: Papers of Kenneth I. Kellermann, 1965-2011
Size of the collection: 14.5 linear feet plus 17 audio cassette tapes and one DVD (processed collection only). Approximately 14 banker boxes of unprocessed papers.
Papers/Records created by: Kellermann, Kenneth I. (1937- )
Short description of collection: This collection currently includes Kenneth I. Kellermann's papers related to VLBI, the VLBI Consortium, and the U.S. VLBI Network, on the history, early development, and construction of the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), the Square Kilometer Array, and materials related to the 1983 celebration of 50th anniversary of Karl G. Jansky's detection of radio waves from the center of the Milky Way. Also included with the papers are NRAO correspondence, memos, reports, observing schedules, meeting announcements, meeting agendas, and technical data sheets from 1965-1993, and papers from his service on non-NRAO councils and committees. Further materials and topics will be added as additional donations are received.
Selected search terms:
- Kellermann, Kenneth I., 1937-
- Jansky, Karl Guthe, 1905-1950
- Serendipitous discoveries in radio astronomy
- Square Kilometer Array
- Very long baseline interferometry
- Very Long Baseline Array
- U.S. VLBI Network
Biography: Kenneth I. Kellermann is a Senior Scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory where he works on the study of radio galaxies, quasars and cosmology, and on the development of new instrumentation for radio astronomy. He also holds an appointment as a Research Professor at the University of Virginia and as an Outside Scientific Member of the German Max Planck Society.
Dr. Kellermann received his S.B. degree in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959 and his Ph. D. in Physics and Astronomy from California Institute of Technology in 1963, where he is a Distinguished Caltech Alumnus. Following his Ph. D. he spent two years at the CSIRO Radiophysics Laboratory in Australia. Since 1965 he has been at NRAO except for extended leaves at Caltech as a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Visitor, and in the Netherlands, Australia, and Germany. He has served as the Assistant Director at NRAO in 1977 and as Director at the Max-Planck-Institute für Radioastronomie in Bonn, Germany in 1977-79.
Dr. Kellermann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a recipient of the Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the Gould Prize of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Rumford Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the International Astronomical Union, where he served as President of the Commission on Radio Astronomy, the American Astronomical Society, and the Astronomical Society of Australia.
Dr. Kellermann was the former Chair of the NAS Astronomy Section, the USNC-IAU and the Radio Astronomy Panel of the 1990 National Research Council Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee. He served on the Council of the National Academy of Sciences, on the NRC Board on Physics and Astronomy, the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, as well as other committees and panels of the NAS, NRC, NSF, NASA, and the European Space Agency. He was Chair of the IAU Working Group on Historic Radio Astronomy, member of the US SKA Consortium, and was Chair of the international SKA Science and Engineering Committee.
[Biographical note written by Kenneth I. Kellermann.]
Accession history: The first donation of materials in this collection was made in 2008; additional donations in 2010, 2012, and 2015.
Access to collection: No restrictions. The Archives are open part-time; contact the Archivist for appointment.
Restrictions on use of collection: None.
Publication rights: Copyright has been assigned to The National Radio Astronomy Observatory. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist.
Preferred citation: [Identification of item, box, and file], Papers of Kenneth I. Kellermann. Archives, National Radio Astronomy Observatory / Associated Universities, Inc. / National Science Foundation. After the initial citation, abbreviations may be used: K.I. Kellermann Papers, NRAO Archives, NRAO/AUI/NSF.
Processing notes: Inventory of the initial donation for this collection was done in 2008 by Ellen N. Bouton, with final arrangement, description, indexing, foldering and boxing of that material completed in 2010. During the processing, photocopies were made to replace thermofax sheets and newspaper clippings, fasteners were removed, and materials were removed from binders of various types. At his request, duplicates were returned to Dr. Kellermann. Further additions to this collection are expected.
Scope and Contents of Collection
Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Series: This series contains materials dated 1965-1994 related to VLBI, the VLBI Consortium, and the U.S. VLBI Network. Included here are general materials including correspondence, notes, memos, reports, agendas, meeting minutes, meeting agendas, proposals, bylaws, and budgets. Topical materials on the European VLBI Network, satellite link radio interferometry, the Mark II processor, and VLBI reductions are also included, as well as a folder of material labeled by Kellermann as "VLBI History." Size: 0.5 linear feet. See below for specific units within this series. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections. Related materials: see the Very Long Baseline Interferometry Series in the Papers of Marshall H. Cohen and in the Records of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
- Network Users Group Unit: This unit includes VLBI Network Users Group correspondence, memos, schedules, reports, newsletters, and other materials dated 1974-1985. Primary authors are Donald C. Backer, Marshall H. Cohen, Kenneth I. Kellermann, James M. Moran, Paul B. Sebring, David B. Shaffer, and George W. Swenson. Size: 0.5 linear feet. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections. Related materials: For other materials on the Network Users Group, see the Very Long Baseline Interferometry Series in the Papers of Marshall H. Cohen and in the Records of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
- Space VLBI Unit: Space VLBI materials from 1982-1994 include materials on Radioastron and Quasat. 0.5 linear feet. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections. Related materials: See also materials in the Records of National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the Papers of Robert L. Brown, and the Papers of Bernard F. Burke.
- US-USSR VLBI Experiments Unit: The first US-USSR VLBI experiments, between the NRAO 140 foot telescope in Green Bank WV and a 22 meter USSR telescope in Crimea were conducted in September and October 1969, with follow-up experiments in 1971. This unit contains correspondence, equipment export applications and shipping documents, as well as more general notes on research in the USSR. Material is dated 1968-1979. Size: 1.0 linear feet. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections. Related materials: For other materials on the early US-USSR VLBI experiments, see both the Green Bank Chronological Correspondence Subunit and the Very Long Baseline Interferometry Series in the Records of the National Radio Astronomy Obserservatory, the folder on VLBI History in the Kellermann VLBI Series above, as well as the articles by Kellermann and by Barry Clark in NRAO's newsletter, The Observer, between 1970-1972.
Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) Series: The Very Long Baseline Array consists of ten, 240-ton, 25-meter diameter dish antennas spread across the Western Hemisphere, from Hawaii to St. Croix, Virgin Islands; it is a facility of National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Construction began in February, 1986, and was completed in May, 1993. This series includes materials on the history, development, and construction of the VLBA. Related materials: See also the working notebooks on VLBA in the Working Notebooks Series below. For other materials on the VLBA see the Records of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the Papers of Marshall H. Cohen, the Papers of Paul A. Vanden Bout, and the Papers of A. Richard Thompson.
- VLBA History and Development Unit: This unit contains material on background, early discussions, and planning for the VLBA, design studies and drafts leading to the formal VLBA proposal to the National Science Foundation in 1982, and materials related to the construction process and ongoing planning and design. Included are correspondence, memos, reports, notes, reprints, meeting announcements and notes, and material from the 1984 VLBA Review Panel. Material is dated 1965-1985. Size: 2.0 linear feet. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections.
- VLBA Antennas Unit: This unit contains materials dated 1980-1992 on the selection of a company to build the 10 VLBA antennas, and includes the March 1984 formal Request for Proposals, VLBA Antenna RFP Information Bulletins, Subcontract VLBA-100 (Design, Manufacture, and Transportation of Ten Radio Telescope Antennas, December 1984), Subcontract VLBA-101 (Assembly and Testing of Ten Radio Telescope Antennas, December 1984), as well as notes, memos, and correspondence on the RFP process, on meetings with bidders, and evaluation of the bids. The bulk of the material is dated 1983-1985. Size: 0.5 linear feet plus 6 blueprints (stored in the flat file case).
- VLBA Antenna Locations and Configurations Unit: This unit contains notes, memos, correspondence, figures, and maps dated 1979-1985 related to the selection of geographic locations and configurations for the antennas. Size: 0.25 linear feet.
- VLBA Budget Unit: This unit contains VLBA budget materials dated 1979-1985. Size: 0.25 linear feet.
- VLBA Coordinating Committee Unit: The VLBA Coordinating Committee was composed of heads of the various working divisions, and was chaired by NRAO Associate Director Hein Hvatum. This unit includes numbered memos 1-55 (September 1983 - May 1985), lacking memos 26, and 39. Size: 0.25 linear feet.
- VLBA Correlator Unit: This unit contains materials dated 1980 through June 1986 on the design and construction of the VLBA correlator, and includes notes, memos, correspondence, and diagrams. Size: 0.25 linear feet.
- VLBA Recording System Unit: This unit contains material dated 1975-1986 on the VLBA recording system, and includes notes, memos, correspondence, and diagrams. Size: 0.5 linear feet.
- VLBA Working Groups Unit: This unit contains correspondence, memos, notes, and reports dated 1979-1984 from VLBA working groups on antennas, computing, data transfer, electronics, front end, local oscillator, monitor and control, operations, post-processing, recorder, science, and site. Size: 0.75 linear feet.
- VLBA Related International Projects Unit: This unit contains materials dated 1979-1986 on the Canadian Very Long Baseline Array, as well as one folder of 1984 materials on the Australia Telescope. Size: 0.25 linear feet.
- VLBA Miscellany Unit: This unit contains general VLBA correspondence dated 1980-1987, as well as material that did not fit in any of the above units, including one folder dated 1980-1984 on computing, two folders dated 1980-1984 on masers, one folder dated 1984 on VLBA operations, and one folder of newspaper and magazine articles about the proposed instrument dated 1974, 1980-1982. Size: 0.25 linear feet.
Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Series: Discussions about a square kilometer array began around 1990 in both the UK and the Netherlands and was discussed by Peter Wilkinson at the 1991 VLA 10th anniversary symposium in Socorro, NM. In 1993 URSI established a Large Telescope Working Group which included National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) scientist A. Richard Thompson. Kenneth I. Kellermann became involved a few years later. In 1997, eight countries, including the U.S. signed a Memorandum of Agreement to cooperate on technology studies leading to a future large radio telescope. At the August 2000 International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Manchester, U.K., 11 countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the International Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Steering Committee (ISSC). In October 2007, the ISSC signed an agreement with the University of Manchester to host the International SKA Project Office (ISPO) and Richard Schilizzi became the first ISPO Director. A new agreement led to the establishment of the SKA Science and Engineering Committee (SSEC) which replaced the ISSC effective Jan 1, 2008 and established the SKA Program Development Office (SPDO) replacing the ISPO. Kellermann became Vice Chair of the SSEC and in 2010 and 2011 he served as SSEC Chair. During this period the SSEC, in collaboration with a separate committee composed of representatives from government agencies, established a number of committees dealing primarily with the costing and legal arrangements for the SKA. The ISSC and SSEC generally met twice a year. This series contains notes from these meetings, material from various ISSC and SSEC committees including the SKA Operations Working Group, various SKA Tiger Teams, materials from the International Funding Agency Committee, materials from the semi-independent European PrepSKA and SKADS programs, various technical and organizational reports, and material relating to the site selection process. The series also includes notes from the 2008-2011 SSEC Executive Committee meetings which generally preceded the meetings of the full SSEC.
U.S. involvement in the SKA began with a meeting held in Green Bank organized by Kellermann and J. Richard Fisher that led to the establishment of the U.S. SKA Consortium. Initially NRAO did not join the Consortium, but Kellermann and Fisher became At-Large members. When NRAO later joined the Consortium Kellermann remained as one of the two NRAO representatives. Chairs of the U.S. Consortium included Jacqueline N. Hewitt from MIT, Jill Tarter from the SETI Institute, followed by Yervant Terzian and James M. Cordes from Cornell. Until 2011 Cornell University remained the legal entity representing the United States in the International SKA program. Consortium activities, including various technical development programs, were funded by several NSF grants totaling about $12M and were administered by Cornell University. This series includes material relating to NRAO and Associated Universities, Inc. interactions with the USSKAC as well as USSKAC interactions with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and 2011 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Decadal Review process.
Following the 2010 NAS Decadal Review of Astronomy, which did not endorse the SKA, the NSF did not join the not-for-profit SKA Organization which was formed at the end of 2011, leading to the end of any formal involvement by the U.S. in the SKA program.
NB: This material currently being processed; contact the Archivist for information on access and more detailed information on contents. Papers include all meetings of the U.S. SKA Consortium (USSKAC); materials related to the U.S. Technology Development Program; all meetings of the International SKA Steering Committee and its successor, the SKA Science and Engineering Committee (SSEC); meetings of the SSEC Executive Committees, including the SKA Operations Working Group, various SKA Tiger Teams, and USSKAC interactions with the National Science foundation, Decadal Review, and Senior Review; material relating to NRAO and AUI involvement with the SKA; material from the international Funding Agency Committees and meetings; material from the European PrepSKA and SKADS programs; various SKA technical and organizational reports; material related to the site selection process. Size of unprocessed materials: approx. 7 banker boxes.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Memos and Reports Series: This series includes NRAO correspondence, memos, reports, observing schedules, meeting announcements, meeting agendas, and technical data sheets from 1965-1993. Folders are arranged chronologically, with undated items retained at the back of the dated folder in which they were originally filed. Size: 1.5 linear feet.
Councils and Committees Series: This series includes materials related to Kellermannís service on non-NRAO councils and committees, and has been divided into two units.
- National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Councils and Committees Unit: This unit includes materials related to Kellermannís service on NAS councils and committees from 1994 through 2002. Included are meeting materials, notes, and correspondence. Size: 2.5 linear feet. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections.
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Councils and Committees Unit: This unit includes materials related to Kellermann's service on the NSF Astronomy Advisory Committee from 1977-1981. Size: 0.5 linear feet.
Conferences and Talks Series: This series is divided into two units.
- Conference Proceedings Unit: This unit includes correspondence, notes, agendas, reports, resolutions, and other materials for conferences, workshops, and symposia that Kellermann attended from 1968 forward. Materials from the 1963 and 1971 SETI conferences in Byurakan are filed with the SETI Series above. Size: 3.5 linear feet. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections.
Jansky 50th Anniversary Celebration Series: Karl G. Jansky's detection of radio waves from the center of the Milky Way was announced on the front page of the New York Times on 5 May 1933. This series includes materials related to the anniversary celebrations at National Radio Astronomy Obervatory, and is divided into two units.
- Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy Unit: The workshop titled Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy was held at National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank WV on 4-6 May 1983. The meeting honored the 50th anniversary of Karl G. Jansky's announcement on 5 May 1933 of the discovery of cosmic radio waves. This unit includes material from 1982-1985: correspondence, notes, and planning documents for the meeting, press clippings, photos, transcripts of some of the talks, and a copy of the published proceedings. Many members of the Jansky family attended the workshop, and the correspondence includes letters from Jansky family members, many with reminiscences about Karl Jansky. Audio cassette tapes (sides 14 and 16 of 36 sides missing) recorded at the meeting are included, along with a digitized version of the tapes transferred to DVD in 2009. Size: 0.25 linear feet plus 17 audio cassette tapes and one DVD.
- Jansky Antenna Project Unit: This unit includes materials on the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Karl Jansky's detection of radio waves from the center of the Milky Way by using the replica of Jansky's antenna at NRAO in Green Bank to operate on the amateur radio 15-meter band for 24 hours on 7-9 May 1983. Materials include Jansky Project memos, photocopies of articles relevant to Jansky's work (1930-1979), photocopies of articles by Jansky (1932-1935), correspondence, and Albert C. Beck's memo to file on construction of the Jansky antenna replica. The Beck memo includes figures and photographs. The amateur radio event was held at the conclusion of a symposium, Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy, honoring the anniversary of Jansky's discovery. Material is dated 1930-1983. Related materials: see also materials on the Jansky antenna, including 1963 Bell Laboratories scale drawings for the antenna reconstruction, in the Records of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Size: 0.25 linear feet. Click here for a folder listing, or use the NRAO Archives online catalog to search for specific items or across multiple series/collections.
Working Notebooks Series: This series includes Kellermann's working notebooks. Currently held notebooks are for the period 1980-1988, and are on the VLBA and the New Large Steerable Radio Telescope. Size: 2 folders.
Oral Interviews Series: This series includes oral interviews conducted by Kellermann between 2010 and 2013 with Bernard F. Burke, Fred Crews, Frank Drake, Cyril Hazard, David S. Heeschen, David E. Hogg, William E. Howard III, Thomas A. Matthews (interviewee permission required), T.K. Menon, Marcus Price, Grote Reber, Theodore Riffe, and Campbell M. Wade. Click here for a listing of transcripts available on the Web; paper copies of transcripts are shelved with Kellermann's papers. Contact the Archivist for audio files of interviews.