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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 (mansi@astro.caltech.edu)

Subjects: Radio, Infra-Red, Optical, Ultra-Violet, X-ray, Nova, Supernovae, Transient, Variables

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 
California, Berkeley. 
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.