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Constraining atmospheric transmission for the new generation of Astronomical Surveys

by Julien Bolmont - 9 November 2018

Title: Constraining atmospheric transmission for the new generation of
Astronomical Surveys

Advisor: Pierre Antilogus

Co-advisor: Sebastien Bongard

Team: Cosmologie et Énergie Noire; experiment: StarDICE/LSST


The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), currently being built in Chile, is one of the large telescope of the new generation. It will provide a deep and homogeneous survey of the entire southern sky that will necessitate Flux Standards of an unprecedented accuracy to anchor its calibration. Dark Energy studies, precision cosmology.

Porting this set of Flux Standards carefully calibrated the LSST will need a careful monitoring of the atmospheric transmission. This will be done through the use of ancillary data provided by satellite surveys, possible on-site instruments like LIDARs and the dedicated use of a 1.2m auxiliary telescope (The AuxTel) that will observe the standard stars simultaneously to LSST observations. The AuxTel will make use of slitless spectroscopy, a technique that is currently seeing renewed interest in the community both for ground based and space based telescopes (ZTF, Euclid, LSST, WFIRST, etc) because it is both easy to operate, and offers spectro-photometric qualities hard to achieve with regular slit spectroscopy. On the other hand, its extraction poses dire le truc de manière sérieuse.

The PhD thesis we propose is centered on the accurate measurement and constraining of the atmospheric transmission crucial for the level of calibration needed by the forthcoming Observational Cosmology studies of LSST in particular. The internship will start with the development and implementation of the algorithms needed for accurate slitless spectroscopic data analysis, together with setting up the bases of constraining the atmospheric transmission using all the ancillary data available. The PhD will be integrated in the AuxTel demonstration that Flux Standards can be calibrated to the per mil level and used by a photometric surveys. It will place the PhD student in close contact with data and analysis crucial for the next generation of LSST Observational Cosmology surveys.

Since AuxTel is an observational program, it is also expected of the PhD student to participate to observing campaigns both in Observatoire de Haute Provence and Cerro Pachon (LSST site) in Chile.

Location: LPNHE, Paris

Contacts: Pierre Antilogus, 33 (0)1 44 27 41 54, Sebastien Bongard, 33 (0)1 44 27 41 83

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