27 July 2016 MeerLICHT and BlackGEM: custom-built telescopes to detect faint optical transients
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We present the MeerLICHT and BlackGEM telescopes, which are wide-field optical telescopes that are currently being built to study transient phenomena, gravitational wave counterparts and variable stars. The telescopes have 65 cm primary mirrors and a 2.7 square degree field-of-view. The MeerLICHT and BlackGEM projects have different science goals, but will use identical telescopes. The first telescope, MeerLICHT, will be commissioned at Sutherland (South Africa) in the first quarter of 2017. It will co-point with MeerKAT to collect optical data commensurate with the radio observations. After careful analysis of MeerLICHT's performance, three telescopes of the same type will be commissioned in La Silla (Chile) in 2018 to form phase I of the BlackGEM array. BlackGEM aims at detecting and characterizing optical counterparts of gravitational wave events detected by Advanced LIGO and Virgo. In this contribution we present an overview of the science goals, the design and the status of the two projects.
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Steven Bloemen, Steven Bloemen, Paul Groot, Paul Groot, Patrick Woudt, Patrick Woudt, Marc Klein Wolt, Marc Klein Wolt, Vanessa McBride, Vanessa McBride, Gijs Nelemans, Gijs Nelemans, Elmar Körding, Elmar Körding, Margaretha L. Pretorius, Margaretha L. Pretorius, Ronald Roelfsema, Ronald Roelfsema, Felix Bettonvil, Felix Bettonvil, Harry Balster, Harry Balster, Roy Bakker, Roy Bakker, Peter Dolron, Peter Dolron, Arjen van Elteren, Arjen van Elteren, Eddy Elswijk, Eddy Elswijk, Arno Engels, Arno Engels, Rob Fender, Rob Fender, Marc Fokker, Marc Fokker, Menno de Haan, Menno de Haan, Klaas Hagoort, Klaas Hagoort, Jasper de Hoog, Jasper de Hoog, Rik ter Horst, Rik ter Horst, Giel van der Kevie, Giel van der Kevie, Stanisław Kozłowski, Stanisław Kozłowski, Jan Kragt, Jan Kragt, Grzegorz Lech, Grzegorz Lech, Rudolf Le Poole, Rudolf Le Poole, Dirk Lesman, Dirk Lesman, Johan Morren, Johan Morren, Ramon Navarro, Ramon Navarro, Willem-Jelle Paalberends, Willem-Jelle Paalberends, Kerry Paterson, Kerry Paterson, Rafal Pawłaszek, Rafal Pawłaszek, Wim Pessemier, Wim Pessemier, Gert Raskin, Gert Raskin, Harrie Rutten, Harrie Rutten, Bart Scheers, Bart Scheers, Menno Schuil, Menno Schuil, Piotr W. Sybilski, Piotr W. Sybilski, "MeerLICHT and BlackGEM: custom-built telescopes to detect faint optical transients", Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 990664 (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232522; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232522


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