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Title: Forward Global Photometric Calibration of the Dark Energy Survey

Abstract

Many scientific goals for the Dark Energy Survey (DES) require calibration of optical/NIR broadband $b = grizY$ photometry that is stable in time and uniform over the celestial sky to one percent or better. It is also necessary to limit to similar accuracy systematic uncertainty in the calibrated broadband magnitudes due to uncertainty in the spectrum of the source. Here we present a "Forward Global Calibration Method (FGCM)" for photometric calibration of the DES, and we present results of its application to the first three years of the survey (Y3A1). The FGCM combines data taken with auxiliary instrumentation at the observatory with data from the broad-band survey imaging itself and models of the instrument and atmosphere to estimate the spatial- and time-dependence of the passbands of individual DES survey exposures. "Standard" passbands are chosen that are typical of the passbands encountered during the survey. The passband of any individual observation is combined with an estimate of the source spectral shape to yield a magnitude $$m_b^{\mathrm{std}}$$ in the standard system. This "chromatic correction" to the standard system is necessary to achieve sub-percent calibrations. The FGCM achieves reproducible and stable photometric calibration of standard magnitudes $$m_b^{\mathrm{std}}$$ of stellar sources over the multi-year Y3A1 data sample with residual random calibration errors of $$\sigma=5-6\,\mathrm{mmag}$$ per exposure. The accuracy of the calibration is uniform across the $$5000\,\mathrm{deg}^2$$ DES footprint to within $$\sigma=7\,\mathrm{mmag}$$. The systematic uncertainties of magnitudes in the standard system due to the spectra of sources are less than $$5\,\mathrm{mmag}$$ for main sequence stars with $0.5

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1367897
Report Number(s):
arXiv:1706.01542; DES-2016-0190; SLAC-PUB-16987; FERMILAB-PUB-17-179-PPD
1602987
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astron.J.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Burke, D.L., and et al. Forward Global Photometric Calibration of the Dark Energy Survey. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Burke, D.L., & et al. Forward Global Photometric Calibration of the Dark Energy Survey. United States.
Burke, D.L., and et al. 2017. "Forward Global Photometric Calibration of the Dark Energy Survey". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1367897.
@article{osti_1367897,
title = {Forward Global Photometric Calibration of the Dark Energy Survey},
author = {Burke, D.L. and et al.},
abstractNote = {Many scientific goals for the Dark Energy Survey (DES) require calibration of optical/NIR broadband $b = grizY$ photometry that is stable in time and uniform over the celestial sky to one percent or better. It is also necessary to limit to similar accuracy systematic uncertainty in the calibrated broadband magnitudes due to uncertainty in the spectrum of the source. Here we present a "Forward Global Calibration Method (FGCM)" for photometric calibration of the DES, and we present results of its application to the first three years of the survey (Y3A1). The FGCM combines data taken with auxiliary instrumentation at the observatory with data from the broad-band survey imaging itself and models of the instrument and atmosphere to estimate the spatial- and time-dependence of the passbands of individual DES survey exposures. "Standard" passbands are chosen that are typical of the passbands encountered during the survey. The passband of any individual observation is combined with an estimate of the source spectral shape to yield a magnitude $m_b^{\mathrm{std}}$ in the standard system. This "chromatic correction" to the standard system is necessary to achieve sub-percent calibrations. The FGCM achieves reproducible and stable photometric calibration of standard magnitudes $m_b^{\mathrm{std}}$ of stellar sources over the multi-year Y3A1 data sample with residual random calibration errors of $\sigma=5-6\,\mathrm{mmag}$ per exposure. The accuracy of the calibration is uniform across the $5000\,\mathrm{deg}^2$ DES footprint to within $\sigma=7\,\mathrm{mmag}$. The systematic uncertainties of magnitudes in the standard system due to the spectra of sources are less than $5\,\mathrm{mmag}$ for main sequence stars with $0.5},
doi = {},
journal = {Astron.J.},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 6
}
  • Here, many scientific goals for the Dark Energy Survey (DES) require the calibration of optical/NIR broadband b = grizY photometry that is stable in time and uniform over the celestial sky to one percent or better. It is also necessary to limit to similar accuracy systematic uncertainty in the calibrated broadband magnitudes due to uncertainty in the spectrum of the source. Here we present a "Forward Global Calibration Method (FGCM)" for photometric calibration of the DES, and we present results of its application to the first three years of the survey (Y3A1). The FGCM combines data taken with auxiliary instrumentation at the observatory with data from the broadband survey imaging itself and models of the instrument and atmosphere to estimate the spatial and time dependences of the passbands of individual DES survey exposures. "Standard" passbands that are typical of the passbands encountered during the survey are chosen. The passband of any individual observation is combined with an estimate of the source spectral shape to yield a magnitudemore » $${m}_{b}^{\mathrm{std}}$$ in the standard system. This "chromatic correction" to the standard system is necessary to achieve subpercent calibrations and in particular, to resolve ambiguity between the broadband brightness of a source and the shape of its SED. The FGCM achieves a reproducible and stable photometric calibration of standard magnitudes $${m}_{b}^{\mathrm{std}}$$ of stellar sources over the multiyear Y3A1 data sample with residual random calibration errors of $$\sigma =6\mbox{--}7\,\mathrm{mmag}$$ per exposure. The accuracy of the calibration is uniform across the $$5000\,{\deg }^{2}$$ DES footprint to within $$\sigma =7\,\mathrm{mmag}$$. The systematic uncertainties of magnitudes in the standard system due to the spectra of sources are less than $$5\,\mathrm{mmag}$$ for main-sequence stars with $$0.5\lt g-i\lt 3.0$$.« less
  • The ability to constrain dark energy from the evolution of galaxy cluster counts is limited by the imperfect knowledge of cluster redshifts. Ongoing and upcoming surveys will mostly rely on redshifts estimated from broadband photometry (photo-z's). For a Gaussian distribution for the cluster photo-z errors and a high cluster yield cosmology defined by the WMAP 1 year results, the photo-z bias, and scatter needs to be known better than 0.003 and 0.03, respectively, in order not to degrade dark energy constrains by more than 10% for a survey with specifications similar to the South Pole Telescope. Smaller surveys and cosmologiesmore » with lower cluster yields produce weaker photo-z requirements, though relative to worse baseline constraints. Comparable photo-z requirements are necessary in order to employ self-calibration techniques when solving for dark energy and observable-mass parameters simultaneously. On the other hand, self-calibration in combination with external mass inferences helps reduce photo-z requirements and provides important consistency checks for future cluster surveys. In our fiducial model, training sets with spectroscopic redshifts for {approx}5%-15% of the detected clusters are required in order to keep degradations in the dark energy equation of state lower than 20%.« less
  • We conduct a detailed analysis of the photometric redshift requirements for the proposed Dark Energy Survey (DES) using two sets of mock galaxy simulations and an artificial neural network code-ANNz. In particular, we examine how optical photometry in the DES grizY bands can be complemented with near infra-red photometry from the planned VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS) in the JHK{sub s} bands in order to improve the photometric redshift estimate by a factor of two at z > 1. We draw attention to the effects of galaxy formation scenarios such as reddening on the photo-z estimate and using our neural networkmore » code, calculate A{sub v} for these reddened galaxies. We also look at the impact of using different training sets when calculating photometric redshifts. In particular, we find that using the ongoing DEEP2 and VVDS-Deep spectroscopic surveys to calibrate photometric redshifts for DES, will prove effective. However we need to be aware of uncertainties in the photometric redshift bias that arise when using different training sets as these will translate into errors in the dark energy equation of state parameter, w. Furthermore, we show that the neural network error estimate on the photometric redshift may be used to remove outliers from our samples before any kind of cosmological analysis, in particular for large-scale structure experiments. By removing all galaxies with a 1{sigma} photo-z scatter greater than 0.1 from our DES+VHS sample, we can constrain the galaxy power spectrum out to a redshift of 2 and reduce the fractional error on this power spectrum by {approx}15-20% compared to using the entire catalogue.« less
  • We present results from a study of the photometric redshift performance of the Dark Energy Survey (DES), using the early data from a Science Verification period of observations in late 2012 and early 2013 that provided science-quality images for almost 200 sq. deg. at the nominal depth of the survey. We assess the photometric redshift (photo-z) performance using about 15 000 galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts available from other surveys. These galaxies are used, in different configurations, as a calibration sample, and photo-z's are obtained and studied using most of the existing photo-z codes. A weighting method in a multidimensional colour–magnitudemore » space is applied to the spectroscopic sample in order to evaluate the photo-z performance with sets that mimic the full DES photometric sample, which is on average significantly deeper than the calibration sample due to the limited depth of spectroscopic surveys. Empirical photo-z methods using, for instance, artificial neural networks or random forests, yield the best performance in the tests, achieving core photo-z resolutions σ68 ~ 0.08. Moreover, the results from most of the codes, including template-fitting methods, comfortably meet the DES requirements on photo-z performance, therefore, providing an excellent precedent for future DES data sets.« less
  • In this study, we present results from a study of the photometric redshift performance of the Dark Energy Survey (DES), using the early data from a Science Verification period of observations in late 2012 and early 2013 that provided science-quality images for almost 200 sq. deg. at the nominal depth of the survey. We assess the photometric redshift (photo-z) performance using about 15 000 galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts available from other surveys. These galaxies are used, in different configurations, as a calibration sample, and photo-z's are obtained and studied using most of the existing photo-z codes. A weighting method inmore » a multidimensional colour–magnitude space is applied to the spectroscopic sample in order to evaluate the photo-z performance with sets that mimic the full DES photometric sample, which is on average significantly deeper than the calibration sample due to the limited depth of spectroscopic surveys. In addition, empirical photo-z methods using, for instance, artificial neural networks or random forests, yield the best performance in the tests, achieving core photo-z resolutions σ68 ~ 0.08. Moreover, the results from most of the codes, including template-fitting methods, comfortably meet the DES requirements on photo-z performance, therefore, providing an excellent precedent for future DES data sets.« less