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 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.
The survey began operation in 2009 and aimed to collect data until 2012. Discoveries include supernovae and near-Earth asteroids
In 2013, its successor, the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) began surveying. Its planned follow-on is the Zwicky Transient Facility, due in 2017.