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The automated Palomar 60 inch telescope

Cenko, S. Bradley and Fox, Derek B. and Moon, Dae-Sik and Harrison, Fiona A. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Henning, John R. and Guzman, C. Dani and Bonati, Marco and Smith, Roger M. and Thicksten, Robert P. and Doyle, Michael W. and Petrie, Hal L. and Gal-Yam, Avishay and Soderberg, Alicia M. and Anagnostou, Nathaniel L. and Laity, Anastasia C. (2006) The automated Palomar 60 inch telescope. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 118 (848). pp. 1396-1406. ISSN 0004-6280.

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We have converted the Palomar 60 inch (1.52 m) telescope from a classic night‐assistant‐operated telescope to a fully robotic facility. The automated system, which has been operational since 2004 September, is designed for moderately fast (t ≾ 3 minutes) and sustained (R ≾ mag) observations of gamma‐ray burst afterglows and other transient events. Routine queue‐scheduled observations can be interrupted in response to electronic notification of transient events. An automated pipeline reduces data in real time, which is then stored on a searchable Web‐based archive for ease of distribution. We describe here the design requirements, hardware and software upgrades, and lessons learned from roboticization. We present an overview of the current system performance as well as plans for future upgrades.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Cenko, S. Bradley0000-0003-1673-970X
Fox, Derek B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Moon, Dae-Sik0000-0003-4200-5064
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Gal-Yam, Avishay0000-0002-3653-5598
Additional Information:© 2006 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2006 July 16; accepted 2006 August 11; published 2006 October 23. We would like to thank the entire staff at Palomar Observatory, without whose patience and hard work this project would not have been possible. S. B. C. and A. M. S. are supported by the NASA Graduate Student Research Program. A. G. acknowledges support by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF-01158.01, awarded by STScI. GRB research at Caltech is supported through NASA and the NSF.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF-01158.01
Issue or Number:848
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110222-085901733
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Automated Palomar 60 Inch Telescope (pp. 1396-1406) S. Bradley Cenko, Derek B. Fox, Dae‐Sik Moon, Fiona A. Harrison, S. R. Kulkarni, John R. Henning, C. Dani Guzman, Marco Bonati, Roger M. Smith, Robert P. Thicksten, Michael W. Doyle, Hal L. Petrie, Avishay Gal‐Yam, Alicia M. Soderberg, Nathaniel L. Anagnostou, Anastasia C. Laity Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22398
Deposited On:22 Feb 2011 17:58
Last Modified:19 Nov 2019 00:49

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