The taos ii survey: Real-time detection and characterization of occultation events

Chung Kai Huang, Matthew J. Lehner, Agueda Paula Granados Contreras, Joel H. Castro-Chacón, Wen Ping Chen, Charles Alcock, Fernando I. Alvarez-Santana, Kem H. Cook, John C. Geary, Carlos Alberto Guerrero Peña, Joannes Bosco Hernández-águila, Benjamín Hernández-Valencia, Jennifer Karr, J. J. Kavelaars, Timothy Norton, Juan Manuel Nuñez, Diego Ochoa, Mauricio Reyes-Ruiz, Edilberto Sánchez, José Sergio SilvaAndrew Szentgyorgyi, Shiang Yu Wang, Wei Ling Yen, Zhi Wei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Transneptunian Automated Occultation Survey (TAOS II) is a blind occultation survey with the aim of measuring the size distribution of Trans-Neptunian Objects with diameters in the range of 0.3 ≲ D ≲ 30 km. TAOS II will observe as many as 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz with all three telescopes simultaneously. This will produce up to ∼20 billion photometric measurements per night, and as many as ∼6 trillion measurements per year, corresponding to over 70 million individual light curves. A very fast analysis pipeline for event detection and characterization is needed to handle this massive data set. The pipeline should be capable of real-time detection of events (within 24 hours of observations) for follow-up observations of any occultations by larger TNOs. In addition, the pipeline should be fast and scalable for large simulations where simulated events are added to the observed light curves to measure detection efficiency and biases in event characterization. Finally, the pipeline should provide estimates of the size of and distance to any occulting objects, including those with non-spherical shapes. This paper describes a new data analysis pipeline for the detection and characterization of occultation events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034503
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number1021
StatePublished - 2021


  • Astronomy data modeling
  • Light curves
  • Stellar occultation
  • Time domain astronomy
  • Trans-Neptunian objects


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