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This content will become publicly available on December 28, 2018

Title: Forward Global Photometric Calibration of the Dark Energy Survey

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 magnitude $${m}_{b}^{\mathrm{std}}$$ 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 $$0.5\lt g-i\lt 3.0$$.
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Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515; AC05-00OR22725
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Astronomical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 155; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-3881
IOP Publishing - AAAS
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21)
Contributing Orgs:
DES Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; methods: observational; techniques: photometric
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1422477