Back to Volume
Paper: The URAT Project
Volume: 338, Astrometry in the Age of the Next Generation of Large Telescopes
Page: 98
Authors: Zacharias, N.
Abstract: The U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT) is designed for an automated all-sky survey to provide accurate positions, proper motions and parallaxes on the 10 mas level and below with a limiting magnitude of about R=21. The goal is to extend the optical reference frame beyond the UCAC (USNO CCD Astrograph Catalog) 16th magnitude limit and provide a direct tie to the defining extragalactic reference frame sources. Access to bright stars (up to 3rd magnitude) is part of the mission. This project will serve DoD needs, provide an accessible, accurate reference frame for other projects like LSST and PanSTARRS, and will have an impact in galactic kinematics studies and solar system bodies orbit determination in the pre-GAIA era. Optical design studies for the 0.85m aperture, f=3.6m astrometric telescope with a 3° diameter field of view are in the final stages. Blanks for the optics will be ordered in fiscal year 2005. The detector development (single chip ≥ 11K×11K pixels) is under way with an accepted Small Business Innovation for Research (SBIR) topic. See also the paper about URAT optics (Laux & Zacharias 2005).
Back to Volume