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simsurvey: Estimating Transient Discovery Rates for the Zwicky Transient Facility

Feindt, Ulrich and Nordin, Jakob and Rigault, Mickael and Brinnel, Valéry and Dhawan, Suhail and Goobar, Ariel and Kowalski, Marek (2019) simsurvey: Estimating Transient Discovery Rates for the Zwicky Transient Facility. . (Unpublished)

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When planning a survey for astronomical transients, many factors such as cadence, filter choice, sky coverage, and depth of observations need to be balanced in order to optimize the scientific gain of the survey. Here we present a software package called simsurvey for simulating the supernova lightcurves that are expected based on a survey strategy, which can then be used to determine the potential for discoveries of each strategy in question. The code is set up in a modular fashion that allows easy modification of small details of the survey and enables the user to adapt it to any survey design and transient template that they wish to use in planning their survey. As an example of its utility, we use simsurvey to simulate the lightcurve of several types of supernovae that the recently started Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) is expected to find and compare the results to the discoveries made during its early operations. We conclude that ZTF will find thousands of bright supernovae per year, of which about 10 could potentially be found with two days of explosion. Over the course of three years the survey will obtain lightcurves of about 1800 type Ia supernovae with z < 0.1 that can be used as distance indicators in cosmology if they are spectroscopically classified using additional telescopes. In a comparison to detections from the ZTF public survey, we found good agreement with the numbers of detections expected from the simulations.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Feindt, Ulrich0000-0002-9435-2167
Rigault, Mickael0000-0002-8121-2560
Goobar, Ariel0000-0002-4163-4996
Additional Information:We would like to thank Rahul Biswas for stimulating discussions and comments and Dan Scolnic for providing us with WFIRST simulation results. Funding from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Space Board and the K&A Wallenberg foundation made this research possible. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 759194 - USNAC). Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48-inch and the 60-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. Facilities: PO:1.2m. Software: Astropy [20], Numpy [47], Matplotlib [48], Scipy [49], SNCosmo [18].
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swedish Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Swedish National Space Board (SNSB)UNSPECIFIED
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)759194
Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)UNSPECIFIED
Weizmann Institute of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Stockholm UniversityUNSPECIFIED
University of MarylandUNSPECIFIED
University of WashingtonUNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Elektronen-SynchrotronUNSPECIFIED
Humboldt UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Los Alamos National LaboratoriesUNSPECIFIED
University of WisconsinUNSPECIFIED
Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190501-084253692
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95125
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 May 2019 18:37
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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