The Automated Planet Finder

The Automated Planet Finder is a facility on Mount Hamilton with a high resolution optical echelle spectrometer. Currently, a fraction of time on the APF is available for the greater UC community.

Introduction to the APF

The APF is the Automated Planet Finder. A 2.4m telescope that runs robotically.

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Observation Planning

The Levy is a high resolution spectrometer with multiple options for slit apertures. To aid in planning, we have an exposure time calculator.

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System Throughput

The APF is a high throughput system, with a peak system efficiency of around 14%. We use these real measurements in our exposure time calculator.

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Each program for the APF requires an online form for storing the target information. These are represented by Google Sheets that are accesible by the scheduler during the start of each night. The Sheet has information that controls the details of the observing but roughly the scheduler compputes an exposure time that aims for a signal to noise limit for each target.

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The automated software focuses the instrument and then acquires a set of standard calibrations. This can be customized, and we show the script used to generate the standard calibrations.

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Data Archive

All APF data are stored in the Mount Hamilton Data Archive. This provides a rapid way of collecting your data and an independent long term storage for data.

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