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Announcements of Opportunity

SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor. Click here for more tips on finding a mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

New for 2021: Students applying for JPL projects should complete a SURF@JPL application instead of a "regular" SURF application.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Searching for Astronomical Transients in High Time Resolution Optical Observations
Disciplines:  Astronomy, Computer Science
Mentor:  Hallinan Gregg, Professor of Astronomy, (PMA), gh@astro.caltech.edu, Phone: 510-409-2840
Background:  The instrument CHIMERA is a high-speed multi-color photometer built for the Palomar 200-inch telescope. More than 150 hours of observations have been conducted on dense Galactic fields, observing at 30 ms time resolution, primarily searching for occultations by km-size Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) in the outer solar system. A byproduct of the this survey is the most sensitive dataset for searching for new classes of millisecond optical flashes, such as optical counterparts to fast radio bursts, flaring compact objects, etc.
Description:  There are 35 million images and 100 billion measurements on individual stars in thee data. A pipeline is already in place to produce lightcurves for these stars. The student is expected to implement a modified version of this pipeline to incorporate image subtraction to search for transients in the full frame of the images, investigating timescales ranging from 30 ms to years. The student will work with Professor Gregg Hallinan and graduate student Qicheng Zhang.
References:  (http://www.tauceti.caltech.edu/chimera/)
Student Requirements:  Experience in programming within the Linux environment is required, ideally including Python.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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