We present initial results from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) complete calibration of the colour–redshift relation (DC3R2) secondary target survey. Our analysis uses 230 k galaxies that overlap with KiDS-VIKING ugriZYJHKs photometry to calibrate the colour–redshift relation and to inform photometric redshift (photo-z) inference methods of future weak lensing surveys. Together with emission line galaxies (ELGs), luminous red galaxies (LRGs), and the Bright Galaxy Survey (BGS) that provide samples of complementary colour, the DC3R2 targets help DESI to span 56 per cent of the colour space visible to Euclid and LSST with high confidence spectroscopic redshifts. The effects of spectroscopic completeness and quality are explored, as well as systematic uncertainties introduced with the use of common Self-Organizing Maps trained on different photometry than the analysis sample. We further examine the dependence of redshift on magnitude at fixed colour, important for the use of bright galaxy spectra to calibrate redshifts in a fainter photometric galaxy sample. We find that noise in the KiDS-VIKING photometry introduces a dominant, apparent magnitude dependence of redshift at fixed colour, which indicates a need for carefully chosen deep drilling fields, and survey simulation to model this effect for future weak lensing surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2582-2602
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2024


  • galaxies: distances
  • gravitational lensing: weak
  • redshifts
  • surveys
  • techniques: spectroscopic
  • UKRI
  • STFC

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