Title: The Pan-STARRS Survey Telescope Project


The Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii is developing a large optical/near-IR survey telescope system; the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System. Pan-STARRS will consist of an array of four 1.8m telescopes with very large (7 square degree) field of view, giving it an etendue larger than all existing survey instruments combined. Each telescope will be equipped with a 1.4 billion pixel CCD camera with low noise and rapid read-out, and the data will be reduced in near real time to produce both a cumulative image of the static sky and difference images, from which transient, moving and variable objects can be detected. Pan-STARRS will be able to scan the entire visible sky to approximately 24th magnitude in less than a week, and this unique combination of sensitivity and cadence will open up many new possibilities in time domain astronomy. A major goal for the project is to survey potentially dangerous asteroids, where Pan-STARRS will be able to detect most objects down to 300m size, much smaller than the km size objects accessible to existing search programs. In addition, the Pan-STARRS data will used to address a wide range of astronomical problems in the Solar System, the Galaxy, and the Cosmos at large. In this talk I will describe the science drivers for the project; the technical design; and give an update on the current status and future time-line of the project.