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Commensal data access on MeerKAT is driving two distinct innovations by the ThunderKAT project

  1. the real-time search for radio transients in the MeerKAT data stream (images) on times as fast as 0.5 seconds
  2. the simultaneous (automated) optical-radio characterisation of newly found transients

A proto-type of the fast imaging and transient detection pipeline has been tested on KAT-7 data and is currently being prepared for Antenna Release 1 (AR1) of MeerKAT.

The MeerLICHT team is building a small (0.6-m) optical telescope which will be located in Sutherland (SAAO). It will be operated robotically and will receive the observing schedule from MeerKAT in real-time to ensure that for each MeerKAT observations (at night time) an optical image of the entire field of view of MeerKAT is available.