The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) is a system of ten radio telescopes controlled remotely from the Array Operations Center in Socorro, New Mexico, that work together as the world's largest dedicated, full-time astronomical instrument. Construction began in February, 1986, and was completed in May, 1993. The first observation using all ten sites occurred May 29, 1993. Total construction cost was $85 million.
The ten VLBA sites range from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands.
Each VLBA station consists of an 82-foot (25- meter) diameter dish antenna and an adjacent control building which houses the station computer, tape recorders and other equipment associated with collecting the radio signals gathered by the antenna. Each antenna weighs 240 tons and is nearly as tall as a ten story building when pointed straight up.
The VLBA station site at Owens Valley, California