The Multi-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer Network, or MERLIN, is an array of seven radio telescopes (the Lovell, the Mark-II, Pickmere, Darnhall, Knockin, Cambridge and Defford) that are distributed across the southern part of Great Britain and operated by the University of Manchester as a National Facility of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). It operates at various frequency bands in the range 151 MHz to 24 GHz and has a maximum baseline length of 217 km. As a national facility, it is open to all astronomers for use on a peer-reviewed basis, with two observing sessions per year. It also routinely takes part in VLBI observations as part of the European VLBI Network (EVN). The 76-m Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire is the third-largest fully-steerable telescope in the world and has been in operation since 1957.

MERLIN array
The MERLIN array of radio telescopes which are distributed around southern Great Britain.
Credit: Image courtesy Dr Alastair Gunn (University of Manchester)

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