SARA Western Regional Conference in Prescott, Arizona

The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) announces a regional conference will be held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona March 11 to 13, 2016. SARA member Ray Fobes is a Staff Radio Astronomer at the University and is coordinating the event. He can be reached by e-mail at westernconference_at_radio-astronomy_dot_org.

Papers on radio astronomy hardware, software, education, research strategies, philosophy, observing efforts and methods are welcome. Deadlines for submitting a letter of intent, including a proposed title and informal abstract or outline can be found at Call for Papers


  • Registration for the 2016 Western Conference is just $60.00. This includes breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday. Payment can be made by going to and direct payment to Please include in the comments payment is for the Western Conference. Credit card payment can be made thru

    You can mail a check payable to SARA Treasurer at 904 Towering Oak Court, Purcellville, VA 20132 . Please include an e-mail address so a confirmation can be sent upon receipt of payment.

    You can receive a reduced hotel rate at the Marriot SpringHill Suites in downtown Prescott, Arizona. When you call, ask for the "Embry-Riddle Friends" rate.

    SpringHill Suites by Marriott
    200 East Sheldon

    Rates: $152.15 + tax

    SpringHill Suites is located in downtown Prescott, approximately 2 blocks from Historic Downtown Prescott. Studio Suites include a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, sink, sitting area and work area. Guest room rate includes complimentary breakfast and free wireless Internet, indoor swimming pool, business center and fitness center all within walking distance to Downtown Prescott Courthouse Shops, Restaurants and Museums.

    We would expect that you could leave at early afternoon on Sunday.

    Give yourself at least two hours to get to the airport (about 100 miles) but Sunday should be an easy day driving thru Phoenix.
    Dipole Array Radio Telescope - DART
    Ray Fobes offers the following information about things to see and do in the Prescott, Arizona area.

    As to National parks and scenic beauty - we have lots of it. Of course its of the desert type. Weather in April should be nice, cool and sunny. Watch it rain!!

    If its your first time to Arizona I would not miss the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff and the Indian areas. Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Zion and Bryce Canyon are also close.

    Prescott is the principal town in Yavapai County, the size of New Jersey with only a little over 200,000 population. Prescott is only about 50,000. This link will give you some background on the town:

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is about 5 miles north of town. There are several modern motels, a couple of historic hotels downtown and some B&B's that are nice but vintage style.

    Meteor Crater is a 35 miles East of Flagstaff. Formally called Barringer Crater it is now a tourist destination (read trap). You can't go into the crater anymore.

    A car is necessary to do much sightseeing. If you fly in, fly into Phoenix and either rent a car or take one of the shuttle buses that go directly to Prescott area. About $30 each way I think. Its a two hour drive up I-17 and Route 69 to get to Prescott. You ascend from 1500 feet to 5500 feet elevation so its an interesting trip. We never get tired of the trip unless its weekend traffic.

    Some of the astronomical observatories in our area.

    Flagstaff Area:
    Lowell Observatory
    Anderson Mesa
    Discovery Channel, 4-meter under construction
    US Navel Observatory

    Southern Arizona:
    Arizona Radio Telescope on Kitt Peak
    Kitt Peak - many telescopes
    Fred Whipple Observatory, Mt Hopkins
    VERITAS gamma-ray telescope, Mt Hopkins
    Steward Observatory, UA Tucson
    Steward Mirror Facility, UA Tucson

    Mt Graham:
    Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope
    Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope
    Large Binocular Telescope

    New Mexico:
    VLA, Socorro
    VLBA, Pie Town