With a new generation of large etendue survey telescopes there is a growing need for alert processing systems. This includes real–time processing of the raw data for alert generation, real–time annotation and classification of the alerts and real–time reaction to interesting alerts using available astronomical resources. We are building a new alert classification and reaction system called ALeRCE: Automatic Learning for the Rapid Classification of Events. ALeRCE is an initiative led by an interdisciplinary and interinstitutional group of scientists from U. Austral (Inf.), U. Católica (DCC), U. Chile (CMM, DIE), U. Concepción (DCC), the Millennium Institute for Astrophysics – MAS and U. Nacional Andres Bello – UNAB (DCF) in Chile,  and REUNA, in collaboration with international researchers from Caltech (CD3) and Harvard U. (IACSSEAS) and U. of Washington (Dirac).

Figure 1: Field of view vs light collecting area for different large scale cameras in astronomical observatories. The product of both quantities is called etendue and is represented by the circle sizes. Etendue is a good measure of the volume of the Universe surveyed by a telescope in a single exposure.


Figure 2: The taxonomy used by the ALeRCE broker. We use a hierarchical classification scheme designed to allow for an increasingly complex taxonomy with time. In the left of the diagram we see different types of stellar explosions, in the center we see stars which present some intrinsic or extrinsic variability, and in the right we see different types of accretion disks.



Credit: Nick Hall photography

Alerce is a conifer species native to the Andes mountains of southern Chile and Argentina. They are the southern relatives of the redwoods of California. Alerces can live up to 4000 yr and reach up to 60 m