Title: Prototyping the Argus Optical Array: A Novel Design for Next-Gen, All-Sky, Array Telescopes
In the past century, time-domain surveys have searched for events with timescales of days to minutes; however, surveys that investigate sub-second optical detections from millisecond- duration transients, and other high-speed phenomena, are scarce. Surveys such as the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF; Rau et al. 2009), the Mobile Astronomical System of TelescopeR- obots (MASTER; Lipunov et al. 2004), the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS; Tonry et al. 2018), the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN; Shappee et al. 2014), the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF; Bellm et al. 2018), (Pan-STARRS; Kaiser et al. 2010), the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS; Larson et al. 2003) and Catalina Real- Time Transient Survey (CRTS; Drake et al. 2009), have been largely successful at monitor- ing variable sources and supernovae-like events that evolve on timescales comparable to their cadence but they tend to miss rapidly evolving events due to their observing strategy of tiling across the sky and returning to the same region after some time. The Evryscope addresses the problem of missing events due to the tiling strategy by covering the whole sky above an airmass of 2 at 2-minute cadence down to g′ = 16. Evryscope has produced hosts of re- ferred papers including surveys for long-term variability, detections of fast transient events like flares on M-dwarfs, and one of the most comprehensive characterizations of the rates of optical glints produced by Earth-orbiting objects, a rate that far exceeds the occurrence rates for optical emission from gamma-ray bursts and hypothesized optical counterparts to fast ra- dio bursts. Building on the success of the Evryscope is the Argus Optical Array, an upcoming all-sky arcsecond-resolution system that leverages new wide-field telescopes coupled with ultra-low-noise CMOS detectors to build a minute-cadence mosaic of the whole Northern sky. Argus is currently funded at the prototype stage and will culminate in the deployment of Argus Pathfinder, a scaled version of the Argus Optical Array that is intended to demonstrate the innovations required for a full-sized array and showcase scientific capabilities. Here I dis- cuss my involvement in the development of the Argus Optical Array prototype, focusing on my work with the motion control systems for Argus Pathfinder, I also present results from an early project where I modelled the orbits of millisecond-duration optical glints in Evryscope data and an upcoming ultra-cool dwarf flares survey using Argus Pathfinder data.
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