MEDIA ADVISORY - New CTBTO test
facility to be opened 2 June 2010, at
Conrad Observatory, near Vienna

Conrad Observatory CTBTO test facility opening - fact sheet

Vienna, 26  May 2010

A unique testing facility, where engineers will  be able to refine two of the technologies used to monitor the planet for nuclear explosions, will be opened on a  remote Austrian hilltop on 2 June at 12:00 by Tibor Tóth,  Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Journalists are invited to attend the event.

The Conrad Observatory at the Trafelberg, near Muggendorf, about an hour south west of Vienna, lies seven kilometers from the nearest public road.

The CTBTO  has installed seismic and infrasound detection equipment on the grounds of the observatory, providing a test bed for engineers from its International Monitoring System (IMS) to study and improve the performance of the technologies. The project is costing about €400,000 ($500,000) and is the first such facility to be developed by the CTBTO. (For more information about the detection technologies see accompanying fact sheet).

Eröffnung der CTBTO Verifikationseinrichtung beim Conrad Observatorium - Informationsblatt

The Conrad Observatory was established 10 years ago by Austria’s Central  Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) to conduct research into seismology and the gravitational and geomagnetic fields. The observatory has played host to CTBTO training courses.

It is named after Victor Conrad, a famous seismologist, who worked at the ZAMG in 1904. The site was selected after an aerial geomagnetic survey found it to be the least magnetic location in Austria.

“We are indebted to Austria for permitting us to establish the facility on the observatory’s grounds and make use of its state-of-the-art facilities,” said Patrick Grenard, Chief of the IMS Engineering and Development Section.  “Its proximity to Vienna and our headquarters, unlike some of our facilities, makes it accessible to our engineers and visiting experts.”

Transport will be provided to the Conrad Observatory from the Vienna International Centre, leaving at 10:00 on 2 June. Journalists wishing to make their own travel arrangements are asked to meet at the Postl Travel Agency, Gutensteiner Strasse 2, 2763 Pernitz  at 11:30 on 2 June.

Accreditation:
Please confirm your attendance by sending your name and that of your organization to Awoba Macheiner by email: awoba.macheinerping@ctbtopong.org.

You are required to bring a valid press ID card.

Press Contact:
Peter Rickwood
CTBTO Public Information
[43-1] 26030 6531
[43-0] 664 248 9680
peter.rickwoodping@ctbtopong.org

For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org – your resource on ending nuclear testing,
or contact:

Annika Thunborg, Spokesperson and Chief, Public Information  
T    +43 1 26030-6375 
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375      
I    www.ctbto.org

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