New GBT Backend Released for Shared Risk Observing
NRAO-Green Bank is pleased to announce the release of Versatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer (VEGAS) for shared risk science. VEGAS is the next generation spectrometer for the GBT. It has larger bandwidths, more spectral windows, better dynamic range, higher time resolution, and better support for multi-beam instruments than the current suite of spectral line backends at the GBT. Figure 1 demonstrates some of these capabilities: these are xxx spectra taken with 7 beams of the K-band Focal Plane Array. Previously, this instrument was limited to 1 spectral window per beam when all seven beams were used. Now VEGAS can provide up to 8 spectral windows to all seven beams simultaneously.
The first shared risk science users arrived March 10 and are working with scientific staff to set up, test, and debug their observations. VEGAS will be the default spectral line backend for 14B observations.
VEGAS was built by the CICADA collaboration (NRAO Green Bank and the Center for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER) at the University of California, Berkeley), and funded by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (NSF-ATI) program (Award Number: 1006509, PI: Dan Werthimer). More information is available from the VEGAS web page at: http://www.gb.nrao.edu/vegas/