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Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) of Yerevan Physics Institute

AESA has been supporting the Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) of the Yerevan Physics Institute since 2000. Founded in 1943 by the famous Armenian physicist Artem Alikhanyan, the CRD puts Armenia on the map as one of the world’s top 5 cosmic ray research institutions and the best in ground based space weather and thunderstorm research. CRD’s mission includes educating top quality PhD students in physicists and state-of-the-art electronics engineering, as well as offering them meaningful jobs in Armenia after graduation. CRD scientists attend and host international scientific conferences providing Armenia a global presence this brain-based field. The head of the CRD is Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, an energetic and visionary leader, committed to scientific excellence. CRD has two high-altitude research stations on Mt. Aragats and headquarters in Yerevan. 


Cosmic Ray Division

Aragats Station 10,500 feetAESA has been supporting the Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) of the Yerevan Physics Institute since the mid 1990s. CRD has two cosmic ray stations, both located on Mt Aragats. One is in Nor Ambert 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) high and the other near the top at 3,200 meters (10,500 ft). In addition to the two stations, CRD has its headquarters in Yerevan. The two high altitude cosmic ray stations are ideally located to be part of the growing global space and ground-based network for Space Weather monitoring and forecasting. Among its projects, the CRD has been equipped to monitor and conduct research on Solar Energetic Phenomena (SEP) and Solar-Terrestrial Connections.

The ideal combination of CRD’s high altitude, advanced equipment and data analysis techniques gives its scientists the capability to predict solar radiation storms 30 to 60 minutes in advance. This provides ample time to issue a warning and take the appropriate measures to minimize any hazardous effects on communication satellites.


Nor Ambert Station 6,500 feetThe extensive facilities that are strategically placed on Mt. Aragats, are constantly in need of maintenance due to the harsh mountain environment. Therefore, AESA has diligently collaborated with the Support Committee for Armenia's Cosmic Ray Division (SCACRD) in order to support CRD’s excellent and praiseworthy effort.

For more details on CRD visit the Support Committee for Armenia's Cosmic Ray Division (SCACRD) website:



Snow MobileSince 2000, AESA has been supporting CRD through providing consistent financial bookkeeping and tax-exempt transfers of funds and equipment that were donated by the Diaspora and shipped to Armenia.

In 2003, AESA organized a fund raising concert by famous violinist Ani Kavakian at the Skirball in Los Angeles. In 2004, AESA supported CRD with a $6,000 donation, and two snow mobiles donated by the AESA Michigan section.


Internships at CRD

CRD is now attempting to setup internship programs for university students and science camps for high school students in Armenia. This will be for students in Armenia and outside Armenia. Currently, this program is not for any university credit. Rather, it is more for those who seek experience that will enhance their resume.

CRD had a couple of pilot programs already and is now applying the lessons learned to create a Co-Op like program, so that students may obtain university credit while spending time at CRD.

Did you know?

1) Students

Each year, CRD undertakes tens of undergraduate and graduate students and publishes numerous studies in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Some of the CRD staff and students with their leader, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian (front row forth from left).

CRD Students



2) Science Magazine

Armenia’s CRD was featured in Science magazine Vol. 301, no 5637, pp. 1175 – 1176, 29 August 2003.

3) International Awards & Recognition

CRD received the International Science and Technology Center Award to develop two state-of-the-art Space Weather detectors. A memorandum of understanding was established with the European Space Agency for scientific cooperation. CRD was accepted into Electronic Space Weather & Atmospheric Network, a European Union Cooperation in Science and Technology.


In 2006, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, Director of CRD, submitted a proposal on starting a Space Environment Viewing and Analysis Network (SEVAN) at an international meeting organized by the UN, NASA, ESA (European Space Agency). SEVAN will be led by CRD physicists from Armenia and memoranda of understanding were signed with Croatia and Bulgaria. China began the installation of their first detector. In addition to the aforementioned three nations, five more are included in the SEVAN project. They are: Croatia, Costa Rica, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Egypt, and Indonesia. During the May 19, 2007 meeting of the International Heliophysical Year conference in Germany, India signed a memorandum of understanding to install a SEVAN detector in New Delhi and became the ninth nation to join the project. SEVAN will consist of portable state-of-the-art space weather detectors designed by CRD scientists in Armenia, the detectors will be placed in countries around the earth’s circumference for an extensive program of space weather observation, analysis, and forecasting. The most technical and sensitive parts of the detectors will be built in Armenia. The mechanical framework and heavy support components will be built and assembled in the host countries. The collected data will flow via the internet to the control center in Yerevan. Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, Director of CRD, is the author and Principal Investigator of this project. SEVAN detectors will also be placed in several secondary schools in Armenia and Artsakh for a broad coverage of the region and to allow students to participate is this research. A comprehensive list and more details on CRD’s accomplishments is found in the Support Committee for Armenia's Cosmic Ray Division website, visit:


CRD Achievements