Notes from March 2018 SMWLV telecon

This is just meant to communicate the main points; it’s not in the original order of discussion. Not all statements are credited to original speaker.

The Call for Mini-Surveys and Deep Drilling proposals is expected to be out in June and due in October.

We should see this as an opportunity to get novel data to enable science.

We anticipate that the time domain aspects (proper motions, variables, etc.) will be important because crowding will limit depth. Existing surveys of Milky Way or Magellanic Clouds may be seen as first epoch.

A: Magellanic Clouds proposal: Knut Olsen will lead this proposal, and we already have a MC working group. See this community thread: Microlensing22, LSST, and the 2018 Whitepaper-proposals

B: Inner Milky Way and Bulge: Mike Rich is a possible leader here. Current BDBS survey will answer many questions but should raise new ones. Rachel Street is leading an effort through the Transients and Variable Stars collaboration. Some of our members are already involved. Their proposal includes numerous microlensing applications as well as other cases. Rich will reach out to her.

One model is that we could have a proposal focusing on science enabled by static science and astrometry but have a operational details consistent with the other proposal. Alternatively, a single proposal might be best. Again, see this link: Microlensing22, LSST, and the 2018 Whitepaper-proposals

C: Deep Drilling: The possibility of a star-formation deep drilling proposal was mentioned. Dwarf spheroidals or the outskirts of galaxies were also mentioned. Someone would need to step up here. Volunteers?

The old (2010-ish?) deep drilling white papers are here, which includes one on ultracool dwarfs, subdwarfs and white dwarfs:

D: Wide-Fast-Deep to Declination +20? Slater mentioned that there is the possibility of extending the main survey to +20 degrees.This is sometimes called the Pan-STARRS-like cadence. If anyone is interesting in advocating for this, this might be the right opportunity. Getting part of Taurus was mentioned as a benefit of this strategy.

Other Interesting things that were discussed, in no particular order

Variables: We identified a need to revive the communication channels between SMWLV and the Transients and Variables Collaboration. Is our Variable Stars Working Group active?

Crowded Field Photometry: Slater noted that he will have a report on this issue in about a month. LSST will include estimates of performance in crowded fields for the June call for proposals. Rich mentioned that in some extremely crowded fields Christian Johnson’s software does much better than the current project pipeline. We should re-visit this in a few months. We may need to make a statement as a collaboration. We may need to seek funding to develop improved crowded field pipeline. The project will deliver difference imaging even in crowded fields. I’d like to have a call about this in a month or two once we know more.

User Tools: A UK funding proposal to develop user tools, particularly involving variable stars, is being submitted: It includes Naylor, Lucas.

Astrometry: The upcoming Gaia DR2 dataset is crucial. Monet has plans once this is available. As we discussed, a science collaboration chairs briefing on astrometry was held later in the day. There is a need for testing and validation of the astrometry parts of the LSST pipeline. The STScI webcast of the recent precision astrometry conference was mentioned (link posted previousl). Monet described opportunities to use VLBA to test agreement of optical (Gaia/LSST) and radio frames.