Proceedings PaperThe Green Bank Telescope
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The 100-m NRAO Green Bank Telescope will be completed in early 2000. The GBT is the most ambitious, single radio telescope ever constructed and has a large number of unique design and performance features. This paper will review those features, which include an offset feed (clear aperture) design, an active surface, a closed-loop laser metrology system for surface figure and pointing control, broad frequency coverage from approximately 100 MHz to 115 GHz, a versatile receiver selection mechanism, and a new multi-input, 256k-channel autocorrelation spectrometer. The status of the project, the commissioning schedule, plans for early operations, the initial instrumentation suite, and plans for future instrumentation will be reviewed. Through most of its frequency range, the GBT will offer a considerable advance in sensitivity and image fidelity compared with exiting telescopes. Scientific areas for which the GBT will have a large impact will be discussed.