The Time Domain Astronomy Working Group was established in June 2017 with the goal of examining the current and future role that the ARC 3.5m telescope at APO can play in the rapidly emerging field of time domain astronomy. The TDAWG was chaired by Deputy Director Ben Williams and had the following charge:
- identify specific science cases related to time domain astronomy that are of interest to ARC members
- examine current 3.5m capabilities (instrumentation, scheduling) vs. needs/desires of the time domain astronomy community
- determine how the 3.5m can effectively tap into the myriad alert streams in an efficient and optimized manner
- brainstorm new ways to exploit or expand the existing 3.5m scheduling flexibility to be better positioned for ZTF/LSST followup observations
- produce a white paper by early 2018 that summarizes the above and provides recommendations for any needed improvements or changes to the 3.5m observing infrastructure
The TDAWG consisted of about a dozen members who conducted their work over approximately 6 months. The culmination of their efforts is the attached white paper, entitled Study of the Most Effective Path Forward for APO 3.5-m Operations in the Time Domain Era.