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Project Solaris, a Global Network of Autonomous Observatories: Design, Commissioning, and First Science Results

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2017

S. K. Kozłowski, P. W. Sybilski, M. Konacki, R. K. Pawłaszek, M. Ratajczak, K. G. Hełminiak, M. Litwicki
(Submitted on 30 Sep 2017)

We present the design and commissioning of Project Solaris, a global network of autonomous observatories. Solaris is a Polish scientific undertaking aimed at the detection and characterization of circumbinary exoplanets and eclipsing binary stars. To accomplish this, a network of four fully autonomous observatories has been deployed in the Southern Hemisphere: Solaris-1 and Solaris-2 in the South African Astronomical Observatory in South Africa; Solaris-3 in Siding Spring Observatory in Australia; and Solaris-4 in Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito in Argentina. The four stations are nearly identical and are equipped with 0.5-m Ritchey-Cr\'etien (f/15) or Cassegrain (f/9, Solaris-3) optics and high-grade 2 K x 2 K CCD cameras with Johnson and Sloan filter sets. We present the design and implementation of low-level security; data logging and notification systems; weather monitoring components; all-sky vision system, surveillance system; and distributed temperature and humidity sensors. We describe dedicated grounding and lighting protection system design and robust fiber data transfer interfaces in electrically demanding conditions. We discuss the outcomes of our design, as well as the resulting software engineering requirements. We describe our system's engineering approach to achieve the required level of autonomy, the architecture of the custom high-level industry-grade software that has been designed and implemented specifically for the use of the network. We present the actual status of the project and first photometric results; these include data and models of already studied systems for benchmarking purposes (Wasp-4b, Wasp-64b, and Wasp-98b transits, PG 1663-018, an eclipsing binary with a pulsator) as well J024946-3825.6, an interesting low-mass binary system for which a complete model is provided for the first time.

Subjects:    Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Journal reference:    Publications of the Astronomical Society of Pacific, Volume 129, Issue 980, pp. 105001 (2017)
DOI:    10.1088/1538-3873/aa83aa
Cite as:    arXiv:1710.00185 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1710.00185v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Stanislaw K. Kozlowski 
[v1] Sat, 30 Sep 2017 12:03:11 GMT (7863kb)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.00185

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