NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0114

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0114


PI: David L. Burke, Stanford University, daveb@slac.stanford.edu
Address: SLAC, P.O. Box 20450, Stanford, CA 94309, USA

CoI: Tim Axelrod, LSST
CoI: Chuck Claver, NOAO
CoI: Darren DePoy, Texas AM University
CoI: Abhijit Saha, NOAO
CoI: Chris Smith, NOAO/CTIO
CoI: Christopher Stubbs, Harvard University
CoI: Douglas Tucker, Fermilab

Title: Towards Precision Photometry for Large Scale Surveys

Abstract: The Dark Energy Survey (DES), the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and other ground-based imaging surveys will require better than 1% precision and good control over systematic errors in photometric measurements. Errors arise in measurements of the telescope and instrument response and in measurements (particularly unseen variations) of atmospheric extinction. We have attacked the end-to-end telescope throughput with a novel tunable laser setup that allows detailed determination of instrumental bandpasses. In previous studies with SMARTS telescopes at CTIO we have developed techniques to measure atmospheric extinction with precisions below 1% even in conditions that would not traditionally be called ``photometric". Here we propose to use CT-1.5m/CSPEC and 4.0m/MOSAIC to extend our studies to the larger spatial scales and complexity of multi-chip mosaics, and to faint and resolved objects accessible with the Blanco. This will take us closer to the configurations of the future surveys. We propose to take advantage of this improvement in photometric precision to address two scientific questions of current interest. We will study the color morphology of resolved galaxies; and we will study galactic extinction along lines of sight through the Milky Way.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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