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Paper: The ZTF Alert Stream: Lessons from the First Six Months of Operating an LSST Precursor
Volume: 523, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXVIII
Page: 485
Authors: Juric, M.; Bellm, E. C.; Patterson, M. T.; Golkhou, V. Z.; Rusholme, B.
Abstract: The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF; Bellm et al. 2019) is an optical time-domain survey that is currently generating about one million alerts each night for transient, variable, and moving objects. The ZTF Alert Distribution System(ZADS; Patterson et al. 2019) packages these alerts, distributes them to the ZTF Partnership members and community brokers, and allows for filtering of the alerts to objects of interest, all in near-real time. This system builds on industry-standard real-time stream processing tools: the Apache Avro binary serialization format and the Apache Kafka distributed streaming platform. ZADS routinely transports 0.6 to 1.2 million alerts per night (amounting to 70GB/night), and has handled peaks of over 2 million alerts/night with no technical issues.
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