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Observer Training

Important Observer Training Notice – June 6, 2020

As of June 6, 2020, the Green Bank Observatory has ended the Infections Disease Operating Status and has entered Phase I of the observatory’s return to work plan. Phase I is planned to last until December 1, 2020. During this period no visitors to the GBO site will be allowed. Telescope operators will be on duty along with select staff who can not perform their work off-site. Other staff, including the GBT support scientists, data analysts, project friends and on-call support staff will be working remotely and can only be reached via email. Training for new observers will be carried out remotely during Phase I. Please contact your project friend to begin the remote training process. Videos and documents to aid this training are located on this page. For the latest information about the observatory’s status, please see: https://greenbankobservatory.org/statement-about-covid-19/

Fundamentals of Single Dish Radio Astronomy

The documents and videos in this section have been compiled from previous Green Bank Observatory training workshops. They an introduction to radio astronomy science and observing techniques and are widely applicable to any radio telescope.

Presentations for the 2019 Single Dish Summer School (SDSS) which includes background material in radio astronomy and the GBT and Arecibo telescopes are located here: SDSS2019.

Introduction to Radio Astronomy Science – PDF – Jay Lockman
Radio Telescope FundamentalsPDF – Frank Ghigo
Observing TechniquesPDF – Will Armentrout
Tracing the SignalPDF – David Frayer

Green Bank Telescope Training Videos

The documents and videos in this section walk you through preparing for and conducting observations with the Green Bank Telescope. Your “project friend” will help you access the Green Bank computer system and join you for your first observing sessions. Please contact the project friend listed on your GBT disposition letter to begin the training process.

The Green Bank TelescopePDF – Ryan Lynch and Toney Minter

Remote Connections

Observations should be conducted on the Titania or Ariel computers. These computers should not be used for data processing. For data processing, you can use Fourier, Titania, Arcturus, Planck, or Euclid. If you do not have login credentials, please contact your GBT “project friend.”

We suggest observers connect to the Green Bank System via FastX. It is also possible to connect to Green Bank via a VNC connection.


Astrid – Intro to Scheduling Blocks

Opening Astrid and Using Real-time Modes

Astrid – Observation Management

Astrid – Data Display Tab


Cleo Observer Tools