ZTF Observing System

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The ZTF Observing System delivers efficient, high-cadence, wide-field-of-view, multi-band optical imagery for time-domain astrophysics analysis. It is installed on the 48 inch Samuel Oschin Telescope (Schmidt-type) at the Palomar Observatory. The key component of the system is a new 47-square-degree, 600 megapixel cryogenic CCD mosaic science camera supported with new telescope aspheric corrector optics, dome and telescope drives, a large-format exposure shutter, a flat-field illumination system and a robotic bandpass filter exchanger.

The camera utilizes the entire focal plane of 47 square degree of the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Schmidt telescope, providing the largest instantaneous field-of-view of any camera on a telescope of aperture greater than 0.5 m: each image will cover 235 times the area of the full moon.

ZTF builds on the proven heritage of the PTF survey to provide more than an order of magnitude increase in survey speed at low risk. An innovative optical design maintains image quality with 2.0" FWHM over the entire focal plane. Speedy modern readout electronics add only 10 seconds of overhead per exposure.

Live Status Documentation

Technical Specifications

Field of view 47 sq. degrees
Detectors 16 e2v 6k x 6k CCD231-C6
Pixel size 15 microns
Pixel scale 1.0"/pixel
Median Delivered Image Quality 2.0" FWHM
Exposure time 30 sec
Readout time 10 sec
Median Time Between Exposures 15 sec
Median Single Visit Depth (5 sigma, R band ) 20.4 mag (all lunar phases)
Filters g, r, i
Areal survey rate 3750 square degrees/hour