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Title: Simulations of the WFIRST Supernova Survey and Forecasts of Cosmological Constraints

Abstract

The Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) was the highest-ranked large space-based mission of the 2010 New Worlds, New Horizons decadal survey. It is now a NASA mission in formulation with a planned launch in the mid 2020s. A primary mission objective is to precisely constrain the nature of dark energy through multiple probes, including Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia). Here, we present the first realistic simulations of the WFIRST SN survey based on current hardware specifications and using open-source tools. We simulate SN light curves and spectra as viewed by the WFIRST wide-field channel (WFC) imager and integral field channel (IFC) spectrometer, respectively. We examine 11 survey strategies with different time allocations between the WFC and IFC, two of which are based upon the strategy described by the WFIRST Science Definition Team, which measures SN distances exclusively from IFC data. We propagate statistical and, crucially, systematic uncertainties to predict the Dark Energy Task Force figure of merit (FoM) for each strategy. Of the strategies investigated, we find the most successful to be WFC focused. However, further work in constraining systematics is required to fully optimize the use of the IFC. Even without improvements to other cosmological probes, the WFIRSTmore » SN survey has the potential to increase the FoM by more than an order of magnitude from the current values. Although the survey strategies presented here have not been fully optimized, these initial investigations are an important step in the development of the final hardware design and implementation of the WFIRST mission.« less

Authors:
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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1352200
Report Number(s):
arXiv:1702.01747; FERMILAB-PUB-17-075-PPD
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357; 1513361
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 867; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Hounsell, R., Scolnic, D., Foley, R. J., Kessler, R., Miranda, V., Avelino, A., Bohlin, R. C., Filippenko, A. V., Frieman, J., Jha, S. W., Kelly, P. L., Kirshner, R. P., Mandel, K., Rest, A., Riess, A. G., Rodney, S. A., and Strolger, L. Simulations of the WFIRST Supernova Survey and Forecasts of Cosmological Constraints. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aac08b.
Hounsell, R., Scolnic, D., Foley, R. J., Kessler, R., Miranda, V., Avelino, A., Bohlin, R. C., Filippenko, A. V., Frieman, J., Jha, S. W., Kelly, P. L., Kirshner, R. P., Mandel, K., Rest, A., Riess, A. G., Rodney, S. A., & Strolger, L. Simulations of the WFIRST Supernova Survey and Forecasts of Cosmological Constraints. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aac08b.
Hounsell, R., Scolnic, D., Foley, R. J., Kessler, R., Miranda, V., Avelino, A., Bohlin, R. C., Filippenko, A. V., Frieman, J., Jha, S. W., Kelly, P. L., Kirshner, R. P., Mandel, K., Rest, A., Riess, A. G., Rodney, S. A., and Strolger, L. Thu . "Simulations of the WFIRST Supernova Survey and Forecasts of Cosmological Constraints". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aac08b. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1352200.
@article{osti_1352200,
title = {Simulations of the WFIRST Supernova Survey and Forecasts of Cosmological Constraints},
author = {Hounsell, R. and Scolnic, D. and Foley, R. J. and Kessler, R. and Miranda, V. and Avelino, A. and Bohlin, R. C. and Filippenko, A. V. and Frieman, J. and Jha, S. W. and Kelly, P. L. and Kirshner, R. P. and Mandel, K. and Rest, A. and Riess, A. G. and Rodney, S. A. and Strolger, L.},
abstractNote = {The Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) was the highest-ranked large space-based mission of the 2010 New Worlds, New Horizons decadal survey. It is now a NASA mission in formulation with a planned launch in the mid 2020s. A primary mission objective is to precisely constrain the nature of dark energy through multiple probes, including Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia). Here, we present the first realistic simulations of the WFIRST SN survey based on current hardware specifications and using open-source tools. We simulate SN light curves and spectra as viewed by the WFIRST wide-field channel (WFC) imager and integral field channel (IFC) spectrometer, respectively. We examine 11 survey strategies with different time allocations between the WFC and IFC, two of which are based upon the strategy described by the WFIRST Science Definition Team, which measures SN distances exclusively from IFC data. We propagate statistical and, crucially, systematic uncertainties to predict the Dark Energy Task Force figure of merit (FoM) for each strategy. Of the strategies investigated, we find the most successful to be WFC focused. However, further work in constraining systematics is required to fully optimize the use of the IFC. Even without improvements to other cosmological probes, the WFIRST SN survey has the potential to increase the FoM by more than an order of magnitude from the current values. Although the survey strategies presented here have not been fully optimized, these initial investigations are an important step in the development of the final hardware design and implementation of the WFIRST mission.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aac08b},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
issn = {1538-4357},
number = 1,
volume = 867,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}