Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies (CRAF)

Aim & Tasks

Set up in 1988, CRAF aims to coordinate the European efforts for the protection of radiospectrum bands used by the Radio Astronomy Service and other passive applications. CRAF works towards this task by:

  • Co-ordinating the radioastronomy case in Europe in discussions with the major public and private telecommunications agencies
  • Acting as the European voice in concert with other groups of radio astronomers in discussions within the international bodies that allocate frequencies
  • Initiating and encouraging scientific studies aimed at reducing interference at source, as well as the effects of interference


The Committee acts also to help EISCAT - the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association - whose expensive radar equipment and important passive experiment in the polar ionosphere faces similar severe interference problems. See also the CRAF homepage for more information on this Expert Committee. go to website

Top of page


Chaired by Hans Van der Marel, this Committee is composed of more than 20 representatives of the major radio astronomical observatories in Europe.
The membership list is available on the CRAF Website

Top of page

CRAF Review 2003

The ESF Expert Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies (CRAF) was reviewed at the end of 2003. The Report of the Review, which was accepted by the ESF Executive Board is now available for consultation.
Report of the Review (PDF 25 KB)

Top of page


CRAF produces newsletters  go to website
Hardcopies are also available. If you would like to be added to our mailing list for a hardcopy version of this and future editions, send an Email with the subject header << CRAF Newsletter >>.

The 3rd edition of the CRAF Handbook for Radio Astronomy was published in June 2005.  The Handbook was prepared by the Committee on Radio Astonomy Frequencies of the ESF.  It reviews the needs of the Radio Astronomy Service and the measures required for its continued protection against harmful interference. The Handbook is intended for a wide readership.  It aims to provide a bridge between radio spectrum management and radio astronomy, so that professional spectrum managers can better understand the needs of Radio Astronomy, and radio astromers can better understand the regulatory process.

In February 2002, a CRAF Handbook for Frequency Management was published.

In 1997, CRAF produced a second, revised version of the Handbook for Radio Astronomy. It provides a comprehensive review of matters related to spectrum management and the protection of the science of radio astronomy against harmful interference. This review is placed within the historical and technological context within which the Radio Astonomy Service operates. The 1997 edition follows on from the first edition, published in 1995, which provided a detailed account of the views and needs of the Radio Astronomy Service for the protection of the science of radio astronomy in Europe. In particular, the handbook highlighted the threat to radio astronomy bands from interference from radio and cell-phone activity on neighbouring bands and argued that radio astronomy bands should not be sacrificed to the tele-communications giants in the next round of band allocations.

Top of page

Politecnico di MilanoDICAMilanoItaly
Chief Executive
Administrative Coordinator