Green Bank Observatory’s 20-meter telescope is a fundamental instrument in Skynet.
A proposal submitted by an international team, led by professor Dan Reichart in the department of physics and astronomy of the University of North Carolina, has been selected to receive a $3 million grant from the Department of Defense’s National Defense Education Program (NDEP).
Reichart directs “Skynet,” which is a globally distributed network of fully automated or robotic telescopes, developed by his team at UNC-Chapel Hill. Skynet currently numbers approximately 20 visible-light telescopes, spanning four continents and five countries, and one significantly larger radio telescope (pictured) at Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia.
Skynet is used by hundreds of professional astronomers, who publish Skynet-collected data in peer-reviewed journals approximately every 20 days. But it has also been used by around 40,000 students of all ages.