TAOS: THE TAIWANESE–AMERICAN OCCULTATION SURVEY


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Abstract

The Taiwanese–American Occultation Survey (TAOS) seeks to determine the number and size spectrum for small (∼3 km) bodies in the Kuiper Belt. This will be accomplished by searching for the brief occultations of bright stars (R ∼ 14) by these objects. We have designed and built a special purpose photometric monitoring system for this purpose. TAOS comprises four 50 cm telescopes, each equipped with a 2048 × 2048 pixel CCD camera, in a compact array located in the central highlands of Taiwan. TAOS will monitor up to 3,000 stars at 5 Hz. The system will go into scientific operation at the end of 2003.

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