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Single Dish Training School - Presented by the Green Bank and Arecibo Observatories


September 2021 - Single Dish Training School -- Open to the Scientific Community and presented jointly by the Green Bank (GBO) and Arecibo (AO) Observatories

The priority deadline for applications to the Single Dish Training School has passed. If you have questions about attending the workshop, please contact Will Armentrout directly (warmentr@nrao.edu).

We will host this workshop at the Green Bank Observatory with both in-person and remote participation available. We require any in-person participants to be fully vaccinated (Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J) before coming to Green Bank, and we will have daily health and temperature screenings (email warmentr@nrao.edu with vaccination questions). Green Bank and Arecibo scientists will be available to give students an introduction to single dish observing, and telescope-specific training on the Green Bank telescope. There is no registration fee for the workshop, and your housing accommodations and food will be paid for while you are in Green Bank. We are unfortunately not able to pay for transportation to Green Bank.

GBO/AO Single Dish Training School: September 13-17 (Monday - Friday)
GBT Training Workshop: September 18-20 (Saturday - Monday)

Applications will be open from July 1 to August 1. As there are a limited number of spaces available, we will review applications and alert accepted participants in early August 2021. If we have more applicants than spaces available, we will prioritize attendance by (1) graduate students, (2) applicants with single dish telescope proposals under review or who are actively using archival data, (3) professional scientists looking to gain understanding of the single dish telescopes before submitting a proposal in a future call, (4) all other applicants.

The GBO/AO Single Dish Training School will provide students, post-docs, and experts in other fields of astronomy with both knowledge and practical experience of the techniques and applications of single-dish radio astronomy using the GBT as the primary example. The school will be based around an intensive series of lectures from experts, as well as hands-on radio-astronomy projects and tutorials.  Topics to be covered include radio telescope fundamentals, key single-dish science areas, observing and calibration techniques, the impact of weather, the GBT observing procedures and software, data reduction, and Arecibo archive access.

The school will be held once per year.  An intensive GBT remote observer training workshop will be held immediately following the school for those who wish to obtain remote observing certification. You can register for both the Single Dish School and the GBT Training workshop on this page.


The School will begin on the morning of Monday, September 13 and end on the afternoon of Friday, September 17, 2021. The GBT training workshop will begin on the afternoon of Saturday, September 18 and end on the afternoon of Monday, September 20, 2021.  Attendees of the GBO/AO Single Dish Observing School should plan on arriving on Sunday, September 12 to fully participate in the workshop. An example schedule can be found at this link.

Travel, Lodging, and Meals

The Green Bank Observatory is located in Green Bank, West Virginia.
The street address is:

Green Bank Observatory
155 Observatory Road
Green Bank, WV, 24944

and our GPS coordinates are: 38.431950, -79.817135

The observatory is approximately 4-5 hours from Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA, and approximately 2.5 hours from Charlottesville, VA. We recommend that workshop attendees traveling by air fly into Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport (CHO), or Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).

Attendees are responsible for their own travel to the observatory. The observatory may provide a shuttle service at an additional fee. The exact cost of the shuttle service will depend on the number of riders that we can place in the same shuttle. Details will be arranged closer to the date of the workshop. We will also help to coordinate attendee carpooling from nearby airports. Email warmentr@nrao.edu and bgregory@nrao.edu with Green Bank travel-related inquiries.

Attendees will stay in the observatory bunkhouse and residence hall, with many participants sharing accommodations. Meals will be provided on-site.

Radio Frequency Interference and the National Radio Quiet Zone

Green Bank Observatory is located in the heart of the National Radio Quiet Zone and the West Virginia Radio Astronomy Zone. These areas provide regulatory protection against certain sources of radio frequency interference that may otherwise negatively impact the scientific operations of the observatory. There is no cell phone reception within many miles of the observatory. GPS navigation typically works but should not be solely relied upon, and maps should be downloaded for offline use. The use of wireless internet, Bluetooth, and other wireless communications is strictly prohibited on observatory grounds. Electronic equipment, including digital cameras, are prohibited near telescopes.

Wired ethernet connections are available for use by attendees in work areas and the residence hall rooms, and observatory computing resources will also be accessible. Attendees should be sure that any personal computers or tablets are compatible with a wired ethernet connection. Adapters for tablets and ultra-portable laptops will *not* be provided.

More information on the NRQZ is available here.

Useful Information

Below are some useful resources for new and experienced GBT observers.  These resources will be covered in detail during the workshop, but attendees are welcome to briefly review the information below to familiarize themselves with some of the terminology prior to arrival.

Practical Information for GBT Observers
GBT Observer’s Guide
GBT Proposal Guide
Dynamic Scheduling System
Remote Observing Instructions
Sensitivity Calculator
Mapping Planner
GBTIDL (Spectral line data reduction software)
GBT pipeline
PRESTO (pulsar data reduction software)
MUSTANG Data Reduction Guide

Odds and Ends

Green Bank is located in the Appalachian Mountains at an elevation of 2,700 feet (~823 meters). Weather in mid-September can be quite cool at night and even during the day. Closed-toe shoes are required for tours of the GBT.

Questions should be directed to Will Armentrout (warmentr@nrao.edu, GBO), Brenne Gregory (bgregory@nrao.edu, GBO), Anish Roshi (anish.roshi@gmail.com, AO), and Sravani Vaddi (sravani.vaddi@gmail.com, AO).


Registration Information

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.