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Proceedings Paper

Pan-STARRS: a wide-field optical survey telescope array
Author(s): Nicholas Kaiser
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Paper Abstract

The Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii is developing a large optical synoptic survey telescope system; the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System. Pan-STARRS will consist of an array of four 1.8m telescopes with very large (7 square degree) field of view, giving it an etendue larger than all existing survey instruments combined. Each telescope will be equipped with a 1 billion pixel CCD camera with low noise and rapid read-out, and the data will be reduced in near real time to produce both cumulative static sky and difference images, from which transient, moving and variable objects can be detected. Pan-STARRS will be able to survey up to ≈6,000 square degrees per night to a detection limit of approximately 24th magnitude. This unique combination of sensitivity and rate of area coverage will open up many new possibilities in time domain astronomy. A major goal for the project is to survey potentially dangerous asteroids, where Pan-STARRS will be able to detect most objects down to 300m size, much smaller than the km size objects accessible to existing search programs. In addition, the Pan-STARRS data products will used to address a wide range of astronomical problems in the Solar System, the Galaxy, and the Cosmos at large. Here, we first outline the Pan-STARRS science goals and describe the survey modes needed to support these. We then describe the design and performance goals, the data processing pipeline, and we review the basic data products. Finally, we present results from simulations that demonstrate Pan-STARRS' capability for detecting potentially hazardous asteroids.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552472
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas Kaiser, Univ. of Hawaii (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5489:
Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann Jr., Editor(s)

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