We present the prototype telescope for the Next Generation Transit Survey, which was built in the UK in 2008/2009 and tested on La Palma in the Canary Islands in 2010. The goals for the prototype system were severalfold: to determine the level of systematic noise in an NGTS-like system; demonstrate that we can perform photometry at the (sub) millimagnitude level on transit timescales across a wide-field; show that it is possible to detect transiting super-Earth and Neptune-sized exoplanets and prove the technical feasibility of the proposed planet survey. We tested the system for around 100 nights and met each of the goals above. Several key areas for improvement were highlighted during the prototyping phase. They have been subsequently addressed in the final NGTS facility, which was recently commissioned at ESO Cerro Paranal, Chile.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- Pub Date:
- February 2017
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 10 pages, 7 figures. This work was carried out while J. McCormac, D. Pollacco, F. Faedi were at Queen's University Belfast, R. West was at the University of Leicester and J. Bento was at Warwick University