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- Since it is not possible to predict when a Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) will occur or when Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) flaring activity starts, follow-up/monitoring ground telescopes must be located as uniformly as possible all over the world in order to collect data simultaneously with Fermi and Swift detections. However, there is a distinct gap in follow-up coverage of telescopes in the eastern U.S. region based on the operations of Swift. Motivated by this fact, we have constructed a 14" fully automated optical robotic telescope, Goddard Robotic Telescope (GRT), at the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory. The aims of our robotic telescope are 1) to follow-up Swift/Fermi GRBs and 2) to perform the coordinated optical observations of Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) AGN. Our telescope system consists of off-the-shelf hardware. With the focal reducer, we are able to match the field of view of Swift narrow instruments (20' x 20'). We started scientific observations in mid-November 2008 and GRT has been fully remotely operated since August 2009. The 3(sigma) upper limit in a 30-second exposure in the R filter is approx.15.4 mag; however, we can reach to approx.18 mag in a 600-second exposures. Due to the weather condition at the telescope site. our observing efficiency is 30-40%, on average.
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- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20110007349.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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