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Arthur Niell
Type of contribution: oral

Status report on observations with the GGAO-Westford VGOS systems

Arthur Niell, MIT Haystack Observatory Co-authors1, MIT Haystack Observatory Co-authors2, NVI Inc. Co-authors3, Exelis Inc.

The GGAO12M and Westford antennas have been instrumented with the majority of the components needed for VGOS broadband observations. The primary missing component is the Cable Delay Calibration System at each site. Nevertheless, a series of six bi-weekly one-hour sessions was begun in January to evaluate the performance of the systems and to develop the operational procedures, from scheduling through single-baseline parameter estimation, that are needed to accommodate the new four-band data acquisition. The important recent developments in the broadband signal chain for both antennas are the upgrade to the RDBE-G(3.0) for the digital backend and the switch to a single Mark6 for recording at, currently, 8 Gigabits per second, from the four RDBEs. The digitized data are encoded as complex samples in VDIF. Three sessions have been observed and correlated (as of Mar 1), and processing of the first session has been completed through parameter estimation. While the early sessions will be controlled by a combination of the Field System for the antenna motion and scripts for the RDBEs and Mark6, by the end of the series it is expected that the sessions will be run almost fully by the Field System.