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Title: The RCT 1.3 m robotic telescope: broadband color transformation and extinction calibration

The Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT) 1.3 m telescope, formerly known as the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) 50 inch telescope, has been refurbished as a fully robotic telescope, with an autonomous scheduler to take full advantage of the observing site without the requirement of a human presence. Here we detail the current configuration of the RCT and present, as a demonstration of its high-priority science goals, the broadband UBVRI photometric calibration of the optical facility. In summary, we find the linear color transformation and extinction corrections to be consistent with similar optical KPNO facilities, to within a photometric precision of 10% (at 1σ). While there were identified instrumental errors that likely added to the overall uncertainty, associated with since-resolved issues in engineering and maintenance of the robotic facility, a preliminary verification of this calibration gave a good indication that the solution is robust, perhaps to a higher precision than this initial calibration implies. The RCT has been executing regular science operations since 2009 and is largely meeting the science requirements set during its acquisition and redesign.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101 (United States)
  2. Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States)
  3. Starman Systems, LLC, Alamo, CA 94507 (United States)
  4. South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC 29117 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340007
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCURACY; CALIBRATION; COLOR; CONFIGURATION; CORRECTIONS; ERRORS; MAINTENANCE; MATHEMATICAL SOLUTIONS; SCHEDULES; TELESCOPES; TRANSFORMATIONS; VERIFICATION