The MeerKAT radio telescope array, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and eventually the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will usher in a remarkable new era in astronomy, with thousands of transients being discovered and transmitted to the astronomical community in near-real-time each night. Immediate spectroscopic follow-up will be critical to understanding their early-time physics – a task to which the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is uniquely suited, given its southerly latitude and the 14-degree-diameter uncorrected field (patrol area) of its 10-m spherical primary mirror. A new telescope configuration is envisioned, incorporating multiple “mini-trackers” that range around a much larger patrol area of 35 degrees in diameter. Each mini-tracker is equipped with a small spherical aberration corrector feeding an efficient, low resolution spectrograph to perform contemporaneous follow-up observations.
John A. Booth, Michael Shara, Steven M. Crawford, and Lisa A. Crause, "Mini-tracker concepts for the SALT transient follow-up program," Proc. SPIE 10700, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII, 107000S (Presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: June 12, 2018; Published: 10 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2311909.
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