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The Palomar Transient Factory Survey Camera: first year performance and results

Law, N. M. and Dekany, R. G. and Rahmer, G. and Hale, D. and Smith, R. and Quimby, R. and Ofek, E. O. and Kasliwal, M. and Zolkower, J. and Velur, V. and Henning, J. and Bui, K. and McKenna, D. and Nugent, P. and Jacobsen, J. and Walters, R. and Bloom, J. and Surace, J. and Grillmair, C. and Laher, R. and Mattingly, S. and Kulkarni, S. (2010) The Palomar Transient Factory Survey Camera: first year performance and results. In: Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III. Proceedings of SPIE. No.7735. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 77353M. ISBN 9780819482259.

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The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is a new fully-automated, wide-field survey conducting a systematic exploration of the optical transient sky. The transient survey is performed using a new 8.1 square degree, 101 megapixel camera installed on the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory. The PTF Camera achieved first light at the end of 2008, completed commissioning in July 2009, and is now in routine science operations. The camera is based on the CFH12K camera, and was extensively modified for use on the 48-inch telescope. A field-flattening curved window was installed, the cooling system was re-engineered and upgraded to closed-cycle, custom shutter and filter exchanger mechanisms were added, new custom control software was written, and many other modifications were made. We here describe the performance of these new systems during the first year of Palomar Transient Factory operations, including a detailed and long term on-sky performance characterization. We also describe lessons learned during the construction and commissioning of the upgraded camera, the photometric and astrometric precision currently achieved with the PTF camera, and briefly summarize the first supernova results from the PTF survey.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Law, N. M.0000-0001-9380-6457
Quimby, R.0000-0001-9171-5236
Ofek, E. O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Kasliwal, M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Nugent, P.0000-0002-3389-0586
Walters, R.0000-0002-1835-6078
Bloom, J.0000-0002-7777-216X
Surace, J.0000-0001-7291-0087
Grillmair, C.0000-0003-4072-169X
Laher, R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Kulkarni, S.0000-0001-5390-8563
Additional Information:© 2010 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We particularly thank the Palomar staff for all their help during the design, setup and operation of the PTF Camera. This paper is based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope as part of the Palomar Transient Factory project, a scientific collaboration between the California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Las Cumbres Observatory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, the University of Oxford, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. SRK and his group were partially supported by the NSF grant AST-0507734.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Palomar Transient Factory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:7735
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180619-151231144
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Official Citation:N. M. Law, R. G. Dekany, G. Rahmer, D. Hale, R. Smith, R. Quimby, E. O. Ofek, M. Kasliwal, J. Zolkower, V. Velur, J. Henning, K. Bui, D. McKenna, P. Nugent, J. Jacobsen, R. Walters, J. Bloom, J. Surace, C. Grillmair, R. Laher, S. Mattingly, S. Kulkarni, "The Palomar Transient Factory Survey Camera: first year performance and results", Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77353M (20 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857400;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87238
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Jun 2018 22:26
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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