The Arecibo Observatory was built in 1963 by the U.S. Air Force under the initiative of Professor William Gordon in the Department of Electrical Engineering and his colleagues at Cornell. The initial funding was for the ARPA (United States Department of Defense (DoD) Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) missile defense program.
The observatory is used for radio astronomy (listening for radio signals), radar astronomy (imaging inner Solar System asteroids etc.) and atmospheric science.
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