The Fly’s Eye camera system: an instrument design for large étendue full-sky time-domain survey
Konkoly Observatory, Budapest
The Fly’s Eye system is a moderate, 21″/pixel resolution multi-color full-sky surveying instrument which is currently in its commissioning stage. The setup employs 19 wide-field camera nodes in a mosaic arrangement assembled on a spherical frame where each of the nodes are equipped with fast focal ratio lenses and Sloan filters. The cameras are supported by single support structure while the sidereal tracking, i.e. the compensation for the apparent celestial rotation is performed by a hexapod mount. This tracking is unavoidable when considering gigapixel-scale imaging, a field-of-view diameter of 120 degrees and exposure times around a few minutes. This device is unique by considering the usage of a hexapod as a primary mount. In addition, this mechanism is fault-tolerant, can be applied to any geographical location and does not expect precise alignment. Here we summarize the design concepts and the first results of this initiative as well as some of the related spin-off ideas. We also mention the aspects of the data reduction and related software, all which is based on the FITSH package.