26 July 2016 The rapid transient surveyor
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Abstract
The Rapid Transient Surveyor (RTS) is a proposed rapid-response, high-cadence adaptive optics (AO) facility for the UH 2.2-m telescope on Maunakea. RTS will uniquely address the need for high-acuity and sensitive near-infrared spectral follow-up observations of tens of thousands of objects in mere months by combining an excellent observing site, unmatched robotic observational efficiency, and an AO system that significantly increases both sensitivity and spatial resolving power. We will initially use RTS to obtain the infrared spectra of ∼4,000 Type Ia supernovae identified by the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System over a two year period that will be crucial to precisely measuring distances and mapping the distribution of dark matter in the z < 0.1 universe. RTS will comprise an upgraded version of the Robo-AO laser AO system and will respond quickly to target-of-opportunity events, minimizing the time between discovery and characterization. RTS will acquire simultaneous-multicolor images with an acuity of 0.07–0.10" across the entire visible spectrum (20% i′-band Strehl in median conditions) and <0.16" in the near infrared, and will detect companions at 0.5" at contrast ratio of ∼500. The system will include a high-efficiency prism integral field unit spectrograph: R = 70-140 over a total bandpass of 840–1830nm with an 8.7" by 6.0" field of view (0.15" spaxels). The AO correction boosts the infrared point-source sensitivity of the spectrograph against the sky background by a factor of seven for faint targets, giving the UH 2.2-m the H-band sensitivity of a 5.7-m telescope without AO.
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C. Baranec, J. R. Lu, S. A. Wright, J. Tonry, R. B. Tully, I. Szapudi, M. Takamiya, L. Hunter, R. Riddle, S. Chen, M. Chun, "The rapid transient surveyor", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 99090F (26 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2230848; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2230848
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