The dark energy survey and operations: Years 1 to 3

H. T. Diehl, E. Neilsen, R. Gruendl, B. Yanny, T. M.C. Abbott, J. Aleksic, S. Allam, J. Annis, E. Balbinot, M. Baumer, L. Beaufore, K. Bechtol, G. Bernstein, S. Birrer, C. Bonnett, D. Brout, C. Bruderer, E. J. Buckley-Geer, D. Capozzi, A. Carnero RosellF. J. Castander, R. Cawthon, C. Chang, L. Clerkin, R. Covarrubias, C. Cuhna, C. D'Andrea, L. Da Costa, R. Das, C. Davis, J. Dietrich, A. Drlica-Wagner, A. Elliott, T. F. Eifler, J. Etherington, B. L. Flaugher, J. Frieman, A. Fausti Neto, M. G. Fernández, C. Furlanetto, D. Gangkofner, D. W. Gerdes, D. A. Goldstein, K. Grabowski, R. R. Gupta, S. Hamilton, H. Head, J. Helsby, D. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, D. James, M. Johnson, M. W.G. Johnson, S. Jouvel, T. Kacprzac, S. Kent, R. Kessler, A. Kim, E. Krause, C. I. Krawiec, A. Kremin, R. Kron, S. Kuhlmann, N. Kuropatkin, O. Lahav, J. Lasker, T. S. Li, E. Luque, N. MacCrann, M. March, J. Marshall, N. P. Mondrik, E. P. Morganson, D. Mudd, A. Nadolski, P. Nugent, P. Melchior, F. Menanteau, D. Q. Nagasawa, B. Nord, R. Ogando, L. Old, A. Palmese, D. Petravick, A. A. Plazas, A. Pujol, A. B.A. Queiroz, K. Reil, A. K. Romer, R. Rosenfeld, A. Roodman, P. Rooney, M. Sako, A. I. Salvador, C. Sánchez, E. Sánchez Álvaro, B. X. Santiago, A. Schooneveld, M. Schubnell, E. Sheldon, A. Smith, R. C. Smith, M. Soares-Santos, F. Sobreira, M. Soumagnac, H. Spinka, S. S. Tie, D. Tucker, V. Vikram, K. Vivas, A. R. Walker, W. Wester, M. Wiesner, H. Wilcox, P. Williams, A. Zenteno, Y. Zhang, Z. Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

33 Scopus citations


The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an operating optical survey aimed at understanding the accelerating expansion of the universe using four complementary methods: weak gravitational lensing, galaxy cluster counts, baryon acoustic oscillations, and Type Ia supernovae. To perform the 5000 sq-degree wide field and 30 sq-degree supernova surveys, the DES Collaboration built the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 3 square-degree, 570-Megapixel CCD camera that was installed at the prime focus of the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). DES has completed its third observing season out of a nominal five. This paper describes DES "Year 1" (Y1) to "Year 3" (Y3), the strategy, an outline of the survey operations procedures, the efficiency of operations and the causes of lost observing time. It provides details about the quality of the first three season's data, and describes how we are adjusting the survey strategy in the face of the El Ninõ Southern Oscillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationObservatory Operations
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies, Processes, and Systems VI
EditorsAlison B. Peck, Robert L. Seaman, Chris R. Benn
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601994
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 27 2016Jul 1 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • CTIO
  • Cosmology
  • Dark Energy Camera
  • Dark Energy Survey
  • Operations


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