Press Releases

American-Armenians visit Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) on Mount Aragats

Hovhannes Vardanian
Cosmic Ray Division
Yerevan Physics Institute
2 Alikhanyan Brothers St.
Yerevan, Republic of Armenia 375036
For Immediate Release
August 17, 2002

American-Armenians Visit CRD’s Stations on Mt. Aragats – June 22, 2002.
On a beautiful Saturday on Armenia’s Mt. Aragats, a group of American-Armenians gathered at Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) Nor Ambert research station at 6500 ft above sea level. CRD’s head, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, greeted the group and conducted a tour of the facilities. He explained the details and the significance of CRD’s research and described the function of the station’s various scientific instruments.

American Armenians and CRD staff in front of the main building on Mt. Aragats at 10,500 ft.

The group then proceeded to the Aragats station, near the summit, where the larger of CRD’s two research stations is situated at 10500 ft. above sea level. On the way, guests were treated to spectacular views of Mt. Ararat. During winter blizzards, travel along this road is extremely treacherous, and is only possible on tractors and all terrain vehicles. Only the most experienced drivers are allowed to ferry personnel and supplies to the high altitude stations which are manned 24 hours per day, year round.

A tour of the extensive facilities included CRD’s network of cosmic ray particle monitors, some of which are located 40 feet underground in order to filter out all but the most energetic cosmic ray particles. Equipment recently donated by CERN, the European particle accelerator research center in Switzerland, was already gathering data. Computer monitors in the control room graphically displayed arriving cosmic ray particles as they were being detected. This data, together with data from the Nor Ambert station, is sent to CRD’s headquarters in Yerevan where it is continuously analyzed and posted on the Internet.

The guests returned to the Nor Ambert station for dinner with the staff and got to know each other. Prof. Chilingarian and the staff thanked the guests, and the Diaspora generally, for their commitment and support for the research being conducted at the CRD. Many of the guests expressed their appreciation for the dedication of CRD’s staff in overcoming enormous obstacles and maintaining their high standard of scientific excellence.

Included among the guests were members of Armenian Engineers and Scientist of America (AESA), Support Committee for Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Division (SCACRD), Armenian Technical Group (ATG), the National Institute for Health (NIH), UC Berkeley, Stanford University, the American University of Armenia, and members of the greater Boston Armenian community.

Prof. Chilingarian makes an invited opening presentation at the European Cosmic Ray Conference. A few days after the reception, scientists from the CRD left for Moscow to attend the European Cosmic Ray Conference, where Prof. Chilingarian was invited to make a special opening presentation on space weather forecasting. Each of the other members of the Armenian delegation also made presentations on various aspects of CRD’s research. Attending with the delegation of experienced physicists were two of CRD’s young scientists; Dr. Ararat Vardanyan who received his PhD within the past couple of years, and Nerses Gevorgyan who is currently one of the PhD students at the CRD

This past June, Prof. Chilingarian was also invited to make a similar invited presentation to the Japanese Space Weather group in Nagoya, Japan. In October, as a member of the international Committee for Space Research (COSPAR), he will attend the COSPAR meeting in Huston to help determine the future of space research.

The Cosmic Ray Division conducts research in solar and cosmic ray physics, and is a world leader in space weather forecasting. During dinner, Diaspora members offered many toasts praising the CRD. One Diaspora member commented “As we strive for Armenia’s development, we are proud to have such outstanding organizations as the CRD in Armenia, and welcome the opportunity to support it”. For more information on the CRD please visit or


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