The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) begins
ATel #4807; S. R. Kulkarni (Caltech) on behalf of the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory collaboration
on 13 Feb 2013; 09:05 UT
Credential Certification: Mansi Manoj Kasliwal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subjects: Radio, Infra-Red, Optical, Ultra-Violet, X-ray, Nova, Supernovae, Transient, Variables
Referred to by ATel #: 4808, 4910, 4967, 5019, 5061, 5180, 5223, 5259, 5266, 5272, 5308, 5341, 5366, 5386, 5387, 5405, 5407, 5465, 5501, 5502, 5539, 5579, 5580, 5605, 5607, 5623, 5672, 5707, 5741, 5762, 5785, 5807, 5844, 5960, 6095, 6145, 6175, 6218, 6443, 6445, 6534, 6538, 6598, 6651, 6764, 6782, 6796, 6807, 6869, 7027, 7427, 7428
S. R. Kulkarni on behalf of the "intermediate Palomar Transient
Factory" (iPTF) announces the start of this project. iPTF is a
partnership led by the California Institute of Technology, US and
includes the Infrared Processing & Astronomical Center, US; Los
Alamos National Laboratory, US; University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee,
US; Oskar-Klein Center of the University of Stockholm, Sweden;
Weizmann Institute of Sciences, Israel; University System of Taiwan,
Taiwan; the Institute for Physics & Mathematics of the Universe,
Japan; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, US and the University of
With respect to the original Palomar Transient Factory (PTF; Law
et al. 2009PASP..121.1395L) iPTF has the following major improvements.
(1) A photometric pipeline which produces calibrated images, optimal
co-additions, object extraction and standard photometric products.
The pipeline products are used both for analysis of variability in
persistent sources and in support the real time transient pipeline
(see below). This effort is centered at the Infrared Processing &
Analysis Center (IPAC) and the principals are J. Surace, R. Laher,
D. Levitan, B. Sesar & E. Ofek [see Ofek et al. 2012PASP..124..854O;
Laher et al. in prep.]. (2) The iPTF real time transient pipeline
at LBNL now makes use of reference images based on historical data
from the PTF created by IPAC (as above) and full use of q3c spatial
indexing [Koposov & Bartunov, 2006ASPC..351..735K], real-time
star-galaxy association and classification of transients. Improvements
to the quantification of the candidates as real astrophysical
transients are now performed in real-time based on the machine
learning algorithms described in Brink et al. [2012arXiv1209.3775B].
The real time pipeline now delivers candidates in about 30 minutes.
The image differencing pipeline effort is led by P. Nugent with
assistance from Y. Cao & M. Kasliwal and the classification engine
effort is led by J. Bloom. (3) An improved ``Marshal'' cross-references
transient candidates to well known catalogs and synthesizes follow
up data (originally developed by R. Quimby & M. Kasliwal). The
improvement were undertaken by I. Arcavi. As with PTF the follow
up spectroscopic data will be ingested into the WISEREP portal
[Yaron & Gal-Yam 2012PASP..124..668Y].
iPTF will undertake focused studies (with strict cadence control
and rapid spectroscopy) and also serve as a testbed for development
and deployment of tools that are relevant to time domain astronomy.