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Event Details

Single Dish and Observer Training Workshop


GBO/AO Single Dish and Observer Training Workshops

August 19 - 23 / August 25 - 29, 2019, Green Bank Observatory

Open only to Scientific Community and Observers

The Single Dish Workshop (August 19-23) 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. This year, we are please to announce that workshop will be presented by staff of the Green Bank Observatory and Arecibo Observatory.  The workshop 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 key science areas for single dish radio telescopes, radio emission properties, fundamentals of radio telescopes and radio frequency instrumentation, observing techniques and strategies, calibration and data processing, and complementary use of single dish and interferometric telescopes.

The GBO/AO Single Dish Workshop will be immediately followed by an Observer Training Workshop (August 25-29).  Participants will spend two days learning how to remotely observe using the Arecibo Observatory and two days learning to remotely observe using the Green Bank Telescope.  The GBO/AO Observer Training Workshop will provide the essential skills and knowledge needed to use the GBT and Arecibo and maximize their scientific output.  After completing the workshop, an attendee will be certified to use the both telescopes as a remote observer. The workshop will focus on hands-on training in the observing techniques most relevant to participants (e.g. high frequency map, spectral line, continuum, pulsar, radar, VLBI, etc.).


The GBO/AO Single Dish Workshop will begin on the morning of August 19 and continue through the evening of August 23. Attendees should plan on arriving in Green Bank on August 18 and departing no earlier than the evening of August 23 (if not staying for the GBO/AO Observer Training Workshop) in order participate fully in all workshop activities.  If you are staying on for the GBO/AO Observers Training Workshop, August 24 will be a free day for you.

The GBO/AO Observer Training Workshop will begin on the morning of August 25 and end with breakfast on the morning of August 29.  Participants should plan on arriving in Green Bank on the evening of August 24 (if not already on-site for the Single Dish Workshop) and staying through the night of August 28, since training sessions will be scheduled overnight.

Workshop activities will not be scheduled on August 24 in order to give participants of both workshops a chance to relax and explore the area.  Meals and lodging will be provided on August 24 for those who are staying on-site.

A detailed scheduled will be distributed closer to the date of the workshops.

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) or Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport (CHO). Shuttle services is available to and from both airports for an additional fee (shuttle service is not covered in the workshop 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.

Attendees will stay in the observatory residence hall. Meals will be provided on-site.

Meals and lodging will be provided for all attendees free of charge, and there are no additional workshop fees.  Attendees are responsible for covering all of their travel costs.

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 is available here.

Useful Information

Below are some useful resources for new and experienced GBT and Arecibo 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
Observing with the Arecibo Telescope
Introduction to CIMA (Arecibo Observatory telescope control interface)


Odds and Ends

All workshops will include a tour of the GBT, weather permitting. Closed-toe shoes are required to go on the GBT tour. The GBT is an active mechanical structure, so visitors should bring appropriate clothing for the tour (i.e., avoid loose articles, and don't wear anything that can't get dirty).

Green Bank is located in the Appalachian Mountains at an elevation of 2,700 feet (~823 meters). Weather in August is typically warm during the day but can be cool at night.

Questions should be directed to Ryan Lynch (rlynch@nrao.edu)

Cancellation Policy

Registrations can be canceled up to one week before the start of the workshops.

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.