Abstract Details

Title: The TAOS Robotic Occultation Survey

Authors: Matthew Lehner

Institute/Affiliation: Academia Sinica Insitute of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Abstract Type: talk

Abstract Information:

The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey aims to detect occultations of ~1 km Kuiper Belt Objects. Such objects have magnitudes R>40 and are thus impossible to detect directly. TAOS operates four 50 cm F/1.9 telescopes at Lulin Observatory in central Taiwan. Each telescope is equipped with a 2kx2k CCD camera, which covers 3 sq. deg. and is capable of 5 Hz readout (necessary for the detection of these events due to their small timescales) using a customized readout mode. The survey has been in operation since early 2005. A next generation occultation survey, TAOS II, is now under construction. The new survey will operate three 1.3 m F/4 telescopes at San Pedro martir in Baja California, Mexico. The survey will use large format CMOS imagers, and will be capable of monitoring more than 10,000 stars at 20 Hz. In this talk, I will describe the TAOS I robotic observatory, the mistakes we made during the design and construction of the survey, and how we will apply the lessons learned to TAOS II..