Skynet 20m: Education and Science Collaboration

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NEW 20m skynet status display
Log of 20m results Search projects latest observation NRAO Skynet wiki NRAO Skynet main(this page)

Skynet is a world wide network of astronomical telescopes operated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The NRAO has developed a 20m radio telescope to provide a radio view of the universe. The 20m telescope is located at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia and provides observations at 1.3 to 1.8 GHz and 8 to 10 GHz.

Skynet Junior Scholars
Skynet Junior Scholars Forum

Observing Advice for Skynet Users

Example Data
Explanation of data files.

Quick Map Plots

The link gets the latest observation from the 20-meter.
Most Recent Observation: quick look

Receiver Cryogenic Temperatures

The Skynet reciever amplifier is cryogenically cooled to 15 K (-433 Fahrenheit), in order to obtain the highest sensitivity to the radio sky.

The plot at right shows the current receiver temperatures, from the real-time logs.
The cryo logs are in /home/fpga/cyborg/skycode/rcvr/log/ ; file names like "yyyy_mm_Dewar_15K"

Receiver power levels

Receiver power is monitored every 2 minutes.

Receiver Log

  • The 8-10 GHz receiver was installed on the 20m on 2012 March 22.
  • The first L-band receiver with 18 cm feed installed 2013 Aug 5.
  • 1360-1430 (HI) feed installed 2013 Aug 15.
  • Back to 8-10 GHz receiver for special satellite detection tests, 2014 July 15.
  • Wide band HI/OH receiver with new wide-band feed (1300-1800 MHz) installed 2014 Aug 12.
  • Wide band HI/OH receiver removed for repairs and calibration 2015 Sept 14.
  • 8-10GHz receiver installed 2015 Sept 15.
  • Wide band HI/OH receiver re-installed 2015 Oct 15.
  • Wide band HI/OH receiver removed for diagnosis and repairs Nov 13, 2015
  • Wide band HI/OH receiver installed again on the 20-meter, Dec 8, 2015
  • RFI spikes eliminated, but cryo started rising Jan 19, 2016
  • Cryo and feed problems fixed Mar 7-8, 2016, but receiver warmed up again.
  • Mar 8 to April 4, 2016, used for Skynet observations with Tsys ~ 100 K.
  • April 4, 2016, L-band receiver back in the lab to replace the vacuum window.
  • April 21, 2016 repaired receiver re-installed -- Tsys now ~ 30K.
  • 2016 Aug 11 Replaced refrigerator.
  • 2016 Nov 17 to Dec 14 - offline to replace leaking oil seal.
  • 2016 Dec 18 to Dec 22 - offline to replace refrigerator and fix brake sensor.
  • 2017 July 20-Aug 4 - receiver warm; trying to fix leaks.
  • 2017 Aug 16 --L-band Receiver removed for repairs.
  • 2017 Aug 18 - X-band receiver installed.
  • 2017 Nov 28 - L-band receiver re-installed after repairs.
  • 2018 Aug 15 to Sep 14 - L-band receiver in the lab for repairs.


    There is a document archive : 20-meter documents and memos.

    The 20-meter Skynet project documents are kept on the NRAO internal WIKI for SkyNet.

    Local technical information is on The GB/Skynet wiki web.

  • Get in touch

    Contact people:Frank Ghigo,20 Meter Scientist, or Sue Ann Heatherly, Education Contact

    Revised Apr 2014
    Revised Mar 2015
    Revised Sep 2015
    Revised Feb 2017
    Revised Oct 2018