The development of a UFS-Boyden Photometric pipeline to facilitate the observational study of accretion driven systems
Calitz, Johannes Jacobus
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After the retirement of professor A. Jarrett in 1986, the 1.5-m telescope at Boyden Observatory stood idle for a decade. With the appointment of Dr P. Meintjes, steps were taken to refurbish the telescope with an updated drive control and camera system, which would eventually enable the telescope to be operated as an astrophysical research instrument. After funding became available, upgrading of the drive mechanisms were undertaken by DFM during August and September 2001 and the new SpectraVision 1k 1k CCD camera, that was on loan from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), was installed during February 2002. After 16 years, the telescope was ready to be used for gathering data for research projects. The camera was installed with only demonstration software. Software was needed to control the camera and also for data reduction and a photometry pipeline. During this project, the problems encountered with the baes, electronics and collimation in the telescope were analized and xed where needed and possible. Manuals were written for the general use of the telescope, as well as the reduction and photometry pipeline. Extinction coecients for Boyden Observatory were determined. Software were developed to control the PixelVision CCD camera. A CCD reduction routine that is easy and automatic as far as possible was written and implemented. A photometry pipeline that can be used with vast amounts of data, while producing a high level of accuracy were developed. The research elds that are making use of the software include gravitational microlens observations, accreting compact objects and Gamma Ray Burst afterglows. A brief overview of these elds are given.