October 5-9, 2014


O6.2 The Palomar Transient Factory: Challenges in Rapid Turnaround, High Quality Data Processing

Jason Surace (IPAC/Caltech)

R. Laher (IPAC/Caltech) F. Masci (IPAC/Caltech) C. Grillmair (IPAC/Caltech)

For the last five years, the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at Caltech has been processing and archiving data from the Palomar Transient Factory, an optical synoptic sky survey that observes a thousand or more square degrees per night with cadences on hours and days timescales. Keeping up with this data stream in a cost-constrained environment has resulted in significant challenges, not the least of which is a near zero-tolerance for artifacts and data glitches. We describe the design strategies used in the survey and data processing system, as well as planned developments for the Zwicky Transient Facility. The latter is a new project with a much larger camera (50 square degrees) that will survey the entire sky every night, with planned first light at the start of 2017.

Mode of presentation: Invited Speaker (need to be confirmed by the SOC)

Applicable ADASS XXIV theme category: Large surveys