The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is an automated survey designed to find and report Transients. The equipment consists of a wide-field survey camera on the Palomar 48 Inch Telescope (P48) at Palomar Observatory plus automated data reduction and filtering, e.g., to exclude aircraft. It is designed to report in "real time" to aid follow-up.
In 2013, its successor, the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) began surveying. Its planned follow-on is the Zwicky Transient Facility, due in 2017.
Palomar 48 Inch Telescope (P48)