Approval of Start of Construction for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Project (DESI)
On 21. June 2016 the Office of Science Energy Systems Acquisition Advisory Board-equivalent for Critical Decision reviewed and approved the start of construction (CD-3) for the DESI project. The HEP-sponsored DESI project includes the design and fabrication of a new, next generation, Stage IV ground-based mid-scale dark energy spectroscopic survey instrument for probing the “dark sector” of the Universe in order to explore the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter.
The project, to be managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), includes design and fabrication of equipment, delivery to Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), in Arizona, plus installation and commissioning of the instrument. DESI will undertake a spectroscopic survey of 20 million galaxies and quasars that will map the gravitational force field, which is dominated by dark matter and the competing effects of dark energy on the Universe's expansion. This requires a three-dimensional map of distant galaxies and quasars created using a newly invented massively parallel spectroscopic instrument, called DESI. Only by obtaining spectra of distant galaxies is it possible to determine their distance, via the measurement of their spectroscopic redshift, and thus create a 3-D map of the Universe. Much as the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) image the sky in 2 dimensions quickly to great depth, DESI will use spectroscopy to do the same in 3 dimensions. Prof. Refregier’s Cosmology Research Group at the Institute for Astronomy at ETH Zurich is a member of this experiment.
For more information on this project please go to: http://desi.lbl.gov/.