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The Palomar Transient Factory: High Quality Realtime Data Processing in a Cost-Constrained Environment

Surace, Jason and Laher, Russ and Masci, Frank and Grillmair, Carl J. and Helou, George (2015) The Palomar Transient Factory: High Quality Realtime Data Processing in a Cost-Constrained Environment. In: Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIV. Astronomical Society of the Pacific conference series. No.495. Astronomical Society of the Pacific , San Francisco, CA, pp. 197-206. ISBN 9781583818749.

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The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is a synoptic sky survey in operation since 2009. PTF utilizes a 7.1 square degree camera on the Palomar 48-inch Schmidt telescope to survey the sky primarily at a single wavelength (R-band) at a rate of 1000-3000 square degrees a night. The data are used to detect and study transient and moving objects such as gamma ray bursts, supernovae and asteroids, as well as variable phenomena such as quasars and Galactic stars. The data processing system at IPAC handles realtime processing and detection of transients, solar system object processing, high photometric precision processing and light curve generation, and long-term archiving and curation. This was developed under an extremely limited budget profile in an unusually agile development environment. Here we discuss the mechanics of this system and our overall development approach. Although a significant scientific installation in of itself, PTF also serves as the prototype for our next generation project, the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). Beginning operations in 2017, ZTF will feature a 50 square degree camera which will enable scanning of the entire northern visible sky every night. ZTF in turn will serve as a stepping stone to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a major NSF facility scheduled to begin operations in the early 2020s.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Surace, Jason0000-0001-7291-0087
Laher, Russ0000-0003-2451-5482
Masci, Frank0000-0002-8532-9395
Grillmair, Carl J.0000-0003-4072-169X
Helou, George0000-0003-3367-3415
Additional Information:© 2015 Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Palomar Transient Factory
Series Name:Astronomical Society of the Pacific conference series
Issue or Number:495
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150917-072916631
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60293
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:17 Sep 2015 19:54
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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