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Proceedings Paper

The Green Bank Telescope
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Paper Abstract

The NRAO Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is a new 100 meter radio telescope that is now in routine astronomical operation. This paper gives a status report on astronomical performance, operational capabilities, development plans, and early scientific highlights. The telescope is now in regular operation to frequencies of 50 GHz, which achieves the base design goal of the facility. Both the surface and pointing accuracies allow good performance at that frequency. The active surface of 2004 movable panels is in regular use at all frequencies above ~8 GHz and significantly improves both gain and diffraction beam shape at high and low elevation angles. Receivers exist at most primary observing frequencies ranging from ~290 MHz to 50 GHz. A 256k-channel correlation spectrometer with up to 16 independent inputs is in routine use for spectroscopy. Backends for pulsar observing, broadband continuum, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, and planetary radar reception also exist. An advanced development program for enhancing the performance of the GBT is also underway. This program includes the Precision Telescope Control Project that will extend operation to 115 GHz or 2.6 mm wavelength (see the paper by Prestage and Constantikes in this volume), a 26-40 GHz receiver, a 68-92 GHz receiver, a fast sampling continuum backend built by a Caltech/NRAO collaboration, and a 64-pixel bolometer camera developed by a consortium of UPenn, NASA-GSFC, NIST, UCardiff, and NRAO. Software development projects for enhanced user interfaces and data handling are underway, and plans to implement queue-based dynamic scheduling and remote observing are being developed. The status of these projects and their anticipated scientific impact will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550631
Show Author Affiliations
Philip R. Jewell, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Richard M. Prestage, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5489:
Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann, Editor(s)

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