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Proceedings Paper

CCD camera and automatic data reduction pipeline for the Mercator telescope on La Palma
Author(s): Geert Davignon; Andre Blecha; Gilbert Burki; Fabien Carrier; Martin Groenewegen; Charles Maire; Gert Raskin; Hans Van Winckel; Luc Weber
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Paper Abstract

In this paper we present the development of a CCD imager for the modern 1.2m MERCATOR telescope dedicated to long term monitoring of variable astrophysical phenomena. This instrument is a result of the collaboration of the Observatory of Geneva with the Institute of Astronomy in Leuven. After a technical description of the main components of the CCD camera system, the text will focus on the automatization of the observations and subsequent data reduction. The telescope itself is an altazimuth mounted 1.2 m Ritchey-Chretien telescope and is operated in a semi-automatic mode. The system executes a predefined sequence of observations, that only need occasional checking of data quality by the astronomer. The observation software is written in a FORTRAN based interpreter language (INTER) running on a UNIX system that communicates with the astronomer via GUIs implemented in Perl/Tk. The data reduction is integrated into one package and includes pre-reduction, photometric and astrometric calibration, extraction, catalogue preparation and archiving. This allows to have a GUI driven reduction that is both flexible and robust. The preliminary reduced data give the astronomers an indication of the quality of their observations, so that they can adjust their program or camera settings during the same night.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550773
Show Author Affiliations
Geert Davignon, Mercator Telescope (Spain)
Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Andre Blecha, Observatoire de Geneve (Switzerland)
Gilbert Burki, Observatoire de Geneve (Switzerland)
Fabien Carrier, Observatoire de Geneve (Switzerland)
Martin Groenewegen, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Charles Maire, Observatoire de Geneve (Switzerland)
Gert Raskin, Mercator Telescope (Spain)
Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Hans Van Winckel, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Luc Weber, Univ. de Geneve (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5492:
Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy
Alan F. M. Moorwood; Masanori Iye, Editor(s)

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