12 May 2022

K-Band Science with the Green Bank Telescope

William Armentrout Green Bank Observatory

The Green Bank Observatory (GBO) is planning a workshop on K-band science — past, present, and future — covering science that has utilized or will utilize the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). The workshop will be held 19–21 September 2022 at GBO. The goals of this workshop are threefold:

  1. Celebrate the success of prior observing campaigns and the K-band Focal Plane Array (KFPA) while encouraging use of the available archival data.
  2. Poll the community on the science being done or proposed at K-band to establish if the GBT is able to meet those needs.
  3. Seek community input on the future direction of K-band science and instrumentation at Green Bank.

View the full workshop announcement, which includes a pre-registration form to indicate interest in attending the workshop.

With the sensitivity arising from the large collecting area of the GBT and clean radio-frequency environment of the Green Bank site, the KFPA has been a popular instrument among GBT users, including those in the areas of galaxy evolution, planetary systems, and astrochemistry. The primary use of the KFPA, however, has been to observe star-forming material in galactic clouds. In the last few years, three separate large-scale surveys have used the GBT and KFPA to map out the moderately dense gas tracer of ammonia in our galaxy. These surveys (KEYSTONE, GAS, and RAMPS; Keown et al. 2019, Friesen et al. 2017 & Hogge et al. 2018, respectively) are now complete and the data are becoming available to the public. Green Bank Observatory is also now considering what potential future instrumentation might best serve the astronomical community at K-band. A white paper to the decadal survey recently proposed a phased-array feed, and the Astro2020 panel recommendations included radio cameras as one of four key areas in which “outstanding opportunities exist for new mid-scale facilities to address compelling science questions.” 

It is timely for GBO to host scientists working at the K-band range of frequencies, evaluate the current state of the science, and seek new directions in both scientific research and instrumentation capabilities.

Structure of the Workshop

In the tradition of past Green Bank workshops, the total number of participants will be limited (~50 people), which allows for candid discussions. The workshop will be held over ~3 days. Only a limited number of talks will be given, allowing ample time for discussion. Talks given will focus on survey results and the dissemination of those data, new results, and general reviews. There will be a session dedicated to future instrumentation, both to evaluate community requirements and to explore the potential options for the GBT. There will be space and time for poster presentations. The detailed schedule of the workshop, such as the number and length of talks, will be determined at a later date. Virtual attendance to the workshop is being considered and information will be provided when this is finalized.

Tentative topics:

  • GBT Surveys: RAMPS, GAS, KEYSTONE, etc.
  • Astrochemistry 
  • Extragalactic Observations — Masers
  • Other K-Band Projects
  • Data Reduction Pipelines and Archive Data Products
  • Instrumentation — Current and Future

We are anticipating a registration fee of US $550, which will include ground transport to the GBO site from Washington Dulles International Airport (if necessary), lodging, and meals.