AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 64. New Developments in Ground Based Instrumentation
Display, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 10:00am-7:00pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[64.11] Moving Object and Transient Event Search System (MOTESS): An Economical Optical Survey Prototype

R.A. Tucker (Goodricke-Pigott Observatory)

The Moving Object and Transient Event Search System (MOTESS) prototype has been operating since April 2001. This instrument has demonstrated that it is possible to economically and reliably survey equatorial regions of the sky at high temporal frequency and produce a stream of high quality image data. As presently configured, MOTESS consists of three, 35-cm aperture, f/5 Newtonian telescopes with 10242 px, thinned CCD cameras. Operating in scan mode, each instrument can cover 12 sq degrees of sky per hour to approximately magnitude 20 (unfiltered). The prototype system is presently located in Tucson, Arizona at the Goodricke-Pigott Observatory. The original motivation for developing this system was the detection and astrometry of earth-approaching asteroids. More recently, the system has been recognized as a viable means for fulfilling specific science goals of the Global Network of Astronomical Telescopes (GNAT) and an effort is underway to develop a geographically distributed network of such telescopes. In this paper we present a description of some of the novel design aspects intended to maximize independent, automated operation of the system.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Mailto:gpobs@mindspring.com

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.