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Small-Scale Projects to enhance LSST and DESI

The Cosmic Visions Dark Energy group was established in 2015 to collect community input and identify priorities to extend cosmology surveys beyond the currently planned experiments. We have identified a number of potential small projects that could enhance the science from LSST and DESI. The group has focused primarily in enhancing dark energy science but notes that there are many potential impacts from these small projects across astrophysics. These projects include an investment in facilities, computing, and/or analysis. We have not prioritized any one concept and are in the process of assessing near-term opportunities to recommend to the Department of Energy Office of High Energy Physics. Projects that can enhance the science return of LSST and DESI include those that offer:

(1) New Observational Windows: direct support for joint pixel analysis will allow information from complementary surveys such as WFIRST and Euclid to enhance the interpretation of LSST images and DESI spectroscopy, particularly at the level of processing the raw data. Likewise, coordinated observations from other facilities can aid in the characterization of transients, modeling of faint sources, and calibration of photometric redshifts.

(2) Theory, Analysis and Computation: Dedicated programs for theoretical development can identify key cosmological questions during the period of DESI/LSST and thereafter. Cosmological simulations of increasingly complex scale are needed to interpret the cosmological and astrophysical signals in future surveys. Finally, professional development for individuals divided between multiple surveys and the creation of shared analysis tools will allow more efficient analysis of the multiple surveys that will occur in the 2020’s.

(3) New Technology Developments for the Future: Priorities for technology development that will be required for surveys beyond LSST and DESI are outlined in arXiv:1604.07821.

Proposed by Kyle Dawson on behalf of Cosmic Visions Dark Energy Panel (University of Utah)