Title

Characterizing the MINERVA Array Telescopes and Instruments

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The MINERVA project consists of an array of four robotically controlled telescopes that will be dedicated to searching for extrasolar planets through precision photometry and radial velocity measurement methods. Before the search for exoplanets can begin, the telescopes, image de-rotators, camera, guide cameras and spectrograph must be calibrated and characterized. I present the characterization of several of these instruments. I measured the maximum altitude reliably observed using right ascension, declination, and position angle data for characterization of the telescope altitude and azimuth drives. This maximum altitude will be used to define a region in the sky that will be avoided during future robotic observations. I examined the effect of updating the solution used to point the telescope on the precision of the altitude, azimuth, and the image de-rotator angle. I tested the photometric abilities of the system by observing the known transiting exoplanets WASP-33B and WASP-35B. All of these tests and characterizations will allow the MINERVA telescope array to maximize the amount of time spent observing good targets. Future work preparing the MINERVA telescope array for implementation will include using the guide camera to improve pointing precision, and characterizing the camera and spectrograph.

Category

Physical Sciences

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Apr 11th, 10:40 AM Apr 11th, 11:00 AM

Characterizing the MINERVA Array Telescopes and Instruments

The MINERVA project consists of an array of four robotically controlled telescopes that will be dedicated to searching for extrasolar planets through precision photometry and radial velocity measurement methods. Before the search for exoplanets can begin, the telescopes, image de-rotators, camera, guide cameras and spectrograph must be calibrated and characterized. I present the characterization of several of these instruments. I measured the maximum altitude reliably observed using right ascension, declination, and position angle data for characterization of the telescope altitude and azimuth drives. This maximum altitude will be used to define a region in the sky that will be avoided during future robotic observations. I examined the effect of updating the solution used to point the telescope on the precision of the altitude, azimuth, and the image de-rotator angle. I tested the photometric abilities of the system by observing the known transiting exoplanets WASP-33B and WASP-35B. All of these tests and characterizations will allow the MINERVA telescope array to maximize the amount of time spent observing good targets. Future work preparing the MINERVA telescope array for implementation will include using the guide camera to improve pointing precision, and characterizing the camera and spectrograph.