The Greenland Telescope (GLT), currently located at Thule Air Base, is a 12-m single dish telescope operating at frequencies of 86, 230 and 345 GHz. Since April 2018, the GLT has regularly participated in (sub-)mm VLBI observations of supermassive black holes as part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and the Global mm VLBI Array (GMVA). We present the status of scientific commissioning activities at the GLT, including most recently the 345 GHz first light and test observations. The antenna surface accuracy has been improved to ~25 microns through panel adjustments aided by photogrammetry, significantly increasing the antenna efficiency. Through all-sky spectral line pointing observations (SiO masers at 86 GHz and CO at 230 and 345 GHz), we have improved the radio pointing accuracy down to <~ 3" at all 3 frequencies. Due to the pandemic, we are in the process of transitioning GLT commissioning and observing activities to remote operations.
We describe the latest development of the control and monitoring system of the Greenland Telescope (GLT). The GLT is a 12-m radio telescope aiming to carry out the sub-millimeter Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations through the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and the Global Millimeter VLBI Array (GMVA), to image the shadows of super massive black holes. The telescope is currently located at the Thule Air Base for commissioning before deployed to the Summit Station. The GLT participated in the VLBI observing campaigns in 2018 and 2019 and fringes were successfully detected at 86 and 230 GHz. Our antenna control software was adapted from the Submillimeter Array (SMA), and as a result for single-dish observations we added new routines to coordinate it with other instruments. We are exploring new communication interfaces; we utilized both in-memory and on-disk databases to be part of the interfaces not only for hardware monitoring but also for engineering event logging. We plan to incorporate the system of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope for the full Linux-based receiver control. The current progress of integrating our receivers, spectrometers, sub-reflector, and continuum detector into control is presented, together with the implementation of the commissioning software for spectral line pointing. We also describe how we built the anti-collision protection and the recovery mechanism for the sub-reflector hexapod.
The Greenland Telescope completed its construction, so the commissioning phase has been started since December 2017. Single-dish commissioning has started from the optical pointing which produced the first pointing model, followed by the radio pointing and focusing using the Moon for both the 86 GHz and the 230 GHz receivers. After Venus started to rise from the horizon, the focus positions has been improved for both receivers. Once we started the line pointing using the SiO(2-1) maser line and the CO(2-1) line for the 86 GHz and the 230 GHz receivers, respectively, the pointing accuracy also improved, and the final pointing accuracy turned to be around 3" - 5" for both receivers. In parallel, VLBI commissioning has been performed, with checking the frequency accuracy and the phase stability for all the components that would be used for the VLBI observations. After all the checks, we successfully joined the dress rehearsals and actual observations of the 86 GHz and 230 GHz VLBI observations, The first dress rehearsal data between GLT and ALMA were correlated, and successfully detected the first fringe, which confirmed that the GLT commissioning was successfully performed.
The Greenland Telescope Project (GLT) has successfully commissioned its 12-m sub-millimeter. In January 2018, the fringes were detected between the GLT and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) during a very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) exercise. In April 2018, the telescope participated in global VLBI science observations at Thule Air Base (TAB). The telescope has been completely rebuilt, with many new components, from the ALMA NA (North America) Prototype antenna and equipped with a new set of sub-millimeter receivers operating at 86, 230, and 345 GHz, as well as a complete set of instruments and VLBI backends. This paper describes our progress and status of the project and its plan for the coming decade.
We describe the control and monitoring system for the Greenland Telescope (GLT). The GLT is a 12-m radio telescope aiming to carry out the sub-millimeter Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations and image the shadow of the super massive black hole in M87. In November 2017 construction has been finished and commissioning activity has been started. In April 2018 we participated in the VLBI observing campaign for the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration. In this paper we present the entire GLT control/monitoring system in terms of computers, network and software.