DECam--Dark Energy Survery

Dark Energy Survey

  • Next-generation imaging sky survey ("Super Sloan") aimed at understanding the acceleration of the universe.
  • 525 nights 2012-2017 to cover 5000 sq-degrees of the South Galactic Cap in five filters (grizY).
  • Survey area overlaps with the South Pole Telescope and the VHS Vista Survey.
  • Measures the dark energy equation of state parameter with four complementary techniques: galaxy cluster counts, weak lensing, angular power spectrum, type Ia supernovae
  • Raw DES data will be public after 12 months through the NOAO Science Archive. As the DES progresses, and we work toward a smooth and efficient operation model of the main survey and its concomitant Data Management, single processed frames will also become available (resources permitting). A stable release of the NOAO Community Pipeline should also allow for the availability of single processed DECam images after 12 months.
  • High level data products (catalogs, etc) available approximately 12 months after mid-survey, and again after the end of the survey
  • Will enable a great deal of other science for the community, as did SDSS.
  • See Dark Energy Survey website:
  • See the short presentation by DES Director Josh Frieman from the January 2011 AAS Meeting and a recent presentation by Tom Diehl from the January 2012 AAS meeting

The construction of the DES Project was organized into three sub-projects -  The construction of DECam (lead institution
is Fermilab), the DES Data Management System (lead institution is U. Illinois) and CTIO Facilities
Improvement Project (CFIP, lead institution is CTIO). The CFIP improvements included a new Telescope
Control System (TCS) for the Blanco 4-m telescope, a repaired & improved Blanco primary mirror support
system, and a new cleanroon in the Blanco dome to accomodate DECam and NEWFIRM (see