Research

Ground Instrumentation

SQT – Super Wasp Qatar Follow-up Telescopes

Name
Super Wasp Qatar Follow-up Telescopes
PI
Don Pollaco (Queen’s University Belfast)
CO-Is IEEC
Ignasi Ribas, Pep Colome, Josep Sanz
Starting Date
2009
Ending Date
2014
Amount funded or managed by IEEC
200.000 Euros
Funding Agency or Entreprise
QUB - QatarFoundation - IEEC
Project Homepage
http://www.superwasp.org/

Science


The SupeWasp Qatar Follow Up Telescope (SQT) will provide high-presicion photometry of transiting exoplanets so that their main properties, such as its size and orbital characteristics, can be determined. It will work in parallel with the SuperWASP experiment, which is searching for planets with wide-angle imaging. This telescope will thoroughly observe selected stars identified with SuperWASP to confirm the nature of their exoplanets and study their properties with great accuracy.




Instrument


SQT is a 1-m robotic telescope enclosed in a clam shell-type dome of 6 m in diameter and mounted on a platform located next to the SuperWASP complex. The design of the telescope is such that it permits fully unattended operation thanks to its robotic mode. This is made possible by a sophisticated suite of software and an array of environment sensors. This telescope is equipped with a camera capable of delivering high-resolution and high-precision images. It has the ability of registering simultaneous images in two different colors thus greatly increasing its efficiency when compared with other telescopes of its kind.




Site


The observatory is installed at the Observatorio de Roque de los Muchachos at La Palma, Canary Islands, one of the best astronomical sites in the world. It is situated next to astronomical world-class facilities such as the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Telescopio Nazionale Galieo, MAGIC and the 10-m Gran Telescopio Canarias, among others.




IEEC’s Contribution


The IEEC-CSIC has different responsibilities within the project, involving both hardware and software:

  • The two-arm instrument including the optical and mechanical design and construction, the infrared filter and camera, a state-of-the art CCD detector employing sophisticated deep-depletion technology that enhances its sensitivity to infrared light.

  • An autoguiding system in a closed-loop fashion that uses the images from the camera to correct for drifts in the tracking motion of the telescope.

  • The robotic control software suite than must guarantee the safe operation of the telescope in fully automatic and unattended manner.