The Dark Energy Survey and operations: years 4 and 5

H. T. Diehl*, E. Neilsen, R. A. Gruendl, T. M.C. Abbott, S. Allam, O. Alvarez, J. Annis, E. Balbinot, S. Bhargava, K. Bechtol, G. M. Bernstein, R. Bhatawdekar, S. Bocquet, D. Brout, R. Capasso, R. Cawthon, C. Chang, E. Cook, C. J. Conselice, J. CruzC. D’Andrea, L. Da Costa, R. Das, D. L. DePoy, A. Drlica-Wagner, A. Elliott, S. W. Everett, J. Frieman, A. Fausti Neto, A. Ferté, I. Friswell, K. E. Furnell, L. Gelman, D. W. Gerdes, M. S.S. Gill, D. A. Goldstein, D. Gruen, D. J. Gulledge, S. Hamilton, D. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, M. D. Johnson, M. W.G. Johnson, S. Kent, R. Kessler, G. Khullar, E. Kovacs, A. Kremin, R. Kron, N. Kuropatkin, J. Lasker, A. Lathrop, T. S. Li, M. Manera, M. March, J. L. Marshall, M. Medford, F. Menanteau, I. Mohammed, M. R. Monroy, B. Moraes, E. P. Morganson, J. Muir, M. Murphy, B. Nord, A. B. Pace, A. Palmese, Y. Park, F. Paz-Chinchón, M. E.S. Pereira, D. Petravick, A. A. Plazas, J. Poh, T. Prochaska, K. Reil, A. K. Romer, A. Roodman, M. Sako, M. Sauseda, D. Scolnic, L. F. Secco, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, N. Shipp, J. A. Smith, M. Soares-Santos, B. Soergel, A. Stebbins, K. T. Story, K. Stringer, F. Tarsitano, B. Thomas, D. L. Tucker, A. K. Vivas, A. R. Walker, M. Y. Wang, C. Weaverdyck, N. Weaverdyck, W. Wester, C. F. Wethers, R. Wilkinson, H. Y. Wu, B. Yanny, A. Zenteno, Y. Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an operating optical survey aimed at understanding the accelerating expansion of the universe using four complementary methods: weak gravitational lensing, galaxy cluster counts, baryon acoustic oscillations, and Type Ia supernovae. To perform the 5000 sq-degree wide field and 30 sq-degree supernova surveys, the DES Collaboration built the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 3 square-degree, 570-Megapixel CCD camera that was installed at the prime focus of the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). DES has completed its third observing season out of a nominal five. This paper describes DES “Year 4” (Y4) and “Year 5” (Y5), the survey strategy, an outline of the survey operations procedures, the efficiency of operations and the causes of lost observing time. It provides details about the quality of these two-season's data, a summary of the overall status, and plans for the final survey season.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObservatory Operations
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies, Processes, and Systems VII
EditorsAlison B. Peck, Robert L. Seaman, Chris R. Benn
PublisherSPIE Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781510619616
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018
EventObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: 11 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


ConferenceObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Cosmology
  • CTIO
  • Dark Energy Camera
  • Dark Energy Survey
  • Operations


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