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The Trans-Neptunian Automated Occultation Survey (TAOS II)

  • M. J. Lehner (a1) (a2) (a3), S-Y. Wang (a1), M. Reyes-Ruiz (a4), Z-W. Zhang (a1), L. Figueroa (a4), C-K. Huang (a1) (a5), W-L. Yen (a1), C. Alcock (a3), F. Alvarez Santana (a4), J. Castro-Chacón (a4), W-P. Chen (a5), Y-H. Chu (a1), K. H. Cook (a1), J. C. Geary (a3), B. Hernández (a4), J. Karr (a1), J. J. Kavelaars (a6) (a7), T. Norton (a3) and A. Szentgyorgyi (a3)...

Abstract

TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.

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