Abstract This paper is based on a proposal submitted for a BRICS astronomy flagship program, which was presented at the 2019 meeting of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group, held in Rio de Janeiro from 29 September to 2 October 2019. The future prospects for the detection and study of transient phenomena in the Universe heralds a new era in time domain astronomy. The case is presented for a dedicated BRICS-wide flagship program to develop a network of ground-based optical telescopes for an all-sky survey to detect short lived optical transients and to allow follow-up of multi-wavelength and multi-messenger transient objects. This will leverage existing and planned new facilities within the BRICS countries and will also draw on the opportunities presented by other multi-wavelength space- and ground-based facilities that exist within the BRICS group. The proposed optical network would initially perform followup observations on new transients using existing telescopes. This would later expand to include a new global network of \sim ∼70 wide-field 1-m telescopes which will cover the entire sky, simultaneously, with a cadence of less than a few hours. This realization would represent a ground-breaking and unique global capability, presenting many scientific opportunities and associated spin-off benefits to all BRICS countries.
Abstract SiTian is an ambitious ground-based all-sky optical monitoring project, developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The concept is an integrated network of dozens of 1-m-class telescopes deployed partly in China and partly at various other sites around the world. The main science goals are the detection, identification and monitoring of optical transients (such as gravitational wave events, fast radio bursts, supernovae) on the largely unknown timescales of less than 1 day; SiTian will also provide a treasure trove of data for studies of AGN, quasars, variable stars, planets, asteroids, and microlensing events. To achieve those goals, SiTian will scan at least 10,000 square deg of sky every 30 min, down to a detection limit of $V \approx 21$ mag. The scans will produce simultaneous light-curves in 3 optical bands. In addition, SiTian will include at least three 4-m telescopes specifically allocated for follow-up spectroscopy of the most interesting targets. We plan to complete the installation of 72 telescopes by 2030 and start full scientific operations in 2032.