What is it ?
Tarot is a network of fast robotic wide field telescopes.
Network of telescopes
Tarot is a network of three telescopes.
- Tarot Calern (TCA) : in France
- Tarot Chile (TCH) : on ESO observatory La Silla in Chile
- Tarot Réunion (TRE) : on Les Makes observatory in Reunion Island
Fast robotic telescopes
The telescopes of Tarot network are fully robotic and automatic. Tarot don’t need any Human action, he take alone the decision to open or close the roof and even chose what observe !
Observation requests are send by observers through an web interface and can specify some parameters like the filter to use or the exposure time… The telescope choose the observation and schedule them (using some quota and priority parameters). The system listen also alert event from Gamma Ray Burst (swift, Fermi) and Gravitational Waves (LIGO, VIRGO).
When an alert is received, the delay until the opening of the shutter is less than 8 seconds !
The slewing time of this telescope is under 5s (on average 3s) ! The Telescope mount is design for support big acceleration and minimize the vibration for produce clean images.
Raw images are automatically processed by TCL scripts runned by AudeLA software to provide reduced data ready use for researcher collaborators via web pages. Tarot produce data and not images !
Wide field telescopes
The design of the telescopes in Calern (France) and in Chile is similar and the optical characteristic are the same. The diameter of primary mirror is 250mm and the field of view is 1.86°x1.86°. For give an example the moon is see, approximately , with an angle of 0.5°, so we can see that :
The telescope in Reunion Island have a new design, the diameter is only 180mm for the primary miror but the field of view is about 4.2°x4.2° so to compare with the others Tarot telescopes (in France and in Chile) we can see that :
Why use a network of fast robotic telescope ?
The first function of Tarot is the observation of Gamma Ray Burst afterglow. This events have a really short-lived, they can be observed by this type of telescope just for few hours only and the exact localization of the event is unknown. For good reactivity the telescope have to be robotic (no Human action) for start observation immediately with a fast slewing and a wide field of view for compensate the incertitude on the localization of the event.
The observation of alert event is the main scientific subject of Tarot but it use just a small part of the observation time. Tarot is use for many other scientific project (refer to Scientific program page) but the second activity of Tarot is space debris monitoring.
Who we are ?
Tarot is a French network of telescope.
The two investigators of these instruments are Michel Boër (OCA , Nice, France) and Alain Klotz (IRAP , Toulous, France).