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Published July 9, 2018 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Initial performance of the Zwicky transient facility: a wide-fast time-domain survey


Zwicky Transient Facility is an integrated, multi-band astronomical survey system optimized for sensitivity, observing cadence, and efficiency. The key subsystem consists of a 600 megapixel CCD focal plane mounted in a flat-fielding vacuum cryostat, located at the prime focus of the 1.2-meter Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory. Supporting subsystems include a new 2.4-meter optical shutter assembly, a 1.35-meter diameter aspheric corrector plate, a cryostat stabilizing hexapod, a commercial robotic arm-based exchanger, three 440 millimeter width filters, four guide/focus CCDs, and dedicated optics compensating individual field curvature over each of sixteen 6k x 6k science CCDs.To optimize ZTF efficiency, all telescope and dome drives were upgraded for higher speed and acceleration, fast readout electronics were implemented, and a sophisticated robotic control system has been implemented. We present for the first time on-sky results from the recently completed ZTF including its realized optical image quality, CCD noise, and observing efficiency performance and discuss engineering challenges that have been overcome. Early scientific results from the ZTF survey are also included.

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© 2018 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

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