The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS)
1 Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
2 Observatoire Astronomique de l'Université de Genève, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
3 Institut für Planetenforschung, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, 12489 Berlin, Germany
4 Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
5 Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
6 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
7 Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
8 Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, 38700 Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
a e-mail: P.J.Wheatley@warwick.ac.uk
The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a new ground-based sky survey designed to find transiting Neptunes and super-Earths. By covering at least sixteen times the sky area of Kepler, we will find small planets around stars that are sufficiently bright for radial velocity confirmation, mass determination and atmospheric characterisation. The NGTS instrument will consist of an array of twelve independently pointed 20 cm telescopes fitted with red-sensitive CCD cameras. It will be constructed at the ESO Paranal Observatory, thereby benefiting from the very best photometric conditions as well as follow up synergy with the VLT and E-ELT. Our design has been verified through the operation of two prototype instruments, demonstrating white noise characteristics to sub-mmag photometric precision. Detailed simulations show that about thirty bright super-Earths and up to two hundred Neptunes could be discovered. Our science operations are due to begin in 2014.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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