Author(s): , , , , , ,
Institution(s): 1. Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute achieved completion of a network of optical telescopes called the KMTNet (Korea Micro-lensing Telescope Network) in the end of 2014. The KMTNet is comprised of three 1.6-m prime focus wide-field optics and 18K×18K mosaic CCDs, each providing 2×2 degrees field of view. This network facilities located at CTIO (Chile), SAAO (South Africa), and SSO (Australia) are expected to be on line in mid-2015 with their CCDs fully functional. While its primary objective is discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets, it is also being used for “Deep Ecliptic Patrol of the Southern Sky (DEEP-South)” aiming at asteroid and comet studies as one of its secondary science projects. The KMTNet telescopes are almost equally separated in longitude, and hence enable a 24-hour uninterrupted monitoring of the southern sky. The DEEP-South will thus provide a prompt solution to a demand from the scientific community to bridge the gaps in global sky coverage with a coordinated use of a network of ground-based telescopes in the southern hemisphere.
Thanks to round-the-clock capability orbits, spin states and three dimensional shape of an object will be systematically investigated and archived for the first time. Based on SDSS and BVRI colors, we will also constrain their surface mineralogy, with an emphasis on targeted photometry of km-sized Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) in the first stage (2015-2019). In the end of 2015, we plan to complete implementing dedicated software subsystem made of an automated observation scheduler and data pipeline for the sake of an increased discovery rate, rapid follow-up, timely phase coverage, and more efficient data reduction and analysis. We will give a brief introduction to a series of test operations conducted at the KMTNet-CTIO in February, March and April in 2015 with experimental data processing. Preliminary scientific results will also be presented.