The WASP project in the era of robotic telescope networks

Christian, D. J.; Pollacco, D. L .; Skillen, I.; Irwin, J.; Clarkson, W. I.; Collier Cameron, A.; Evans, N.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Haswell, C. A.; Hellier, C.; Hodgkin, S. T.; Horne, K.; Kane, S. R.; Keenan, F. P.; Lister, T. A.; Norton, A. J.; Osborne, J.; Ryans, R.; Street, R. A.; West, R. G. and Wheatley, P. J. (2006). The WASP project in the era of robotic telescope networks. Astronomische Nachrichten, 327(8) pp. 800–802.




We present the current status of the WASP project, a pair of wide angle photometric telescopes, individually called Super-WASP. SuperWASP-I is located in La Palma, and SuperWASP-II at Sutherland in South Africa. SW-I began operations in April 2004. SW-II is expected to be operational in early 2006. Each SuperWASP instrument consists of up to 8 individual cameras using ultra-wide field lenses backed by high-quality passively cooled CCDs. Each camera covers 7.8 × 7.8 sq degrees of sky, for nearly 500 sq degrees of total sky coverage. One of the current aims of the WASP project is the search for extra-solar planet transits with a focus on brighter stars in the magnitude range 8 to 13. Additionally, WASP will search for optical transients, track Near-Earth Objects, and study many types of variable stars and extragalactic objects. The collaboration has developed a custom-built reduction pipeline that achieves better than 1 percent photometric precision. We discuss future goals, which include: nightly on-mountain reductions that could be used to automatically drive alerts via a small robotic telescope network, and possible roles of the WASP telescopes as providers in such a network. Additional technical details of the telescopes, data reduction, and consortium members and institutions can be found on the web site at:

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