The SCUBA half-degree extragalactic survey - I. Survey motivation, design and data processing

A M J Mortier, S Serjeant, James Dunlop, S E Scott, P Ade, D Alexander, O Almaini, I Aretxaga, C Baugh, A J Benson, P N Best, A Blain, J Bock, C Borys, A Bressan, C Carilli, E L Chapin, S Chapman, D L Clements, K CoppinM Crawford, M Devlin, S Dicker, L Dunne, S A Eales, A C Edge, D Farrah, M Fox, C Frenk, E Gaztanaga, W K Gear, E Gonzales-Solares, G L Granato, T R Greve, J A Grimes, J Gundersen, M Halpern, P Hargrave, D H Hughes, R J Ivison, M J Jarvis, T Jenness, R Jimenez, E van Kampen, A King, C Lacey, A Lawrence, K Lepage, Robert Mann, G Marsden, P Mauskopf, B Netterfield, S Oliver, L Olmi, M J Page, John Peacock, C P Pearson, W J Percival, A Pope, R S Priddey, S Rawlings, N Roche, M R Robinson, D Scott, K Sekiguchi, M Seigar, L Silva, C Simpson, I Smail, J A Stevens, T Takagi, G Tucker, C Vlahakis, I Waddington, J Wagg, M Watson, C Willott, M Vaccari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array ( SCUBA) Half-Degree Extragalactic Survey ( SHADES) is a major new blank-field extragalactic submillimetre (submm) survey currently underway at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). Ultimately, SHADES aims to cover half a square degree at 450 and 850 mu m to a 4 sigma depth of similar or equal to 8 mJy at 850 mu m. Two fields are being observed, the Subaru/XMM-Newton Deep Field (SXDF) (02(h)18(m) - 05 degrees.) and the Lockman Hole East (10(h)52(m) + 57 degrees). The survey has three main aims: (i) to investigate the population of high-redshift submm galaxies and the cosmic history of massive dust-enshrouded star formation activity; (ii) to investigate the clustering properties of submm-selected galaxies in order to determine whether these objects could be progenitors of present-day massive ellipticals; and (iii) to investigate the fraction of submm-selected sources that harbour active galactic nuclei. To achieve these aims requires that the submm data be combined with cospatial information spanning the radio-to-X-ray frequency range. Accordingly, SHADES has been designed to benefit from ultra-deep radio imaging obtained with the Very Large Array (VLA), deep mid-infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope, submm mapping by the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimetre Telescope ( BLAST), deep near-infrared imaging with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, deep optical imaging with the Subaru Telescope and deep X-ray observations with the XMM-Newton observatory. It is expected that the resulting extensive multiwavelength data set will provide complete photometric redshift information accurate to delta(z) <= 0.5 as well as detailed spectral energy distributions for the vast majority of the submm-selected sources. In this paper, the first of a series on SHADES, we present an overview of the motivation for the survey, describe the SHADES survey strategy, provide a detailed description of the primary data-analysis pipeline and demonstrate the superiority of our adopted matched-filter source-extraction technique over, for example, Emerson-II style methods. We also report on the progress of the survey. As of 2004 February, 720 arcmin(2) had been mapped with SCUBA ( about 40 per cent of the anticipated final total area) to a median 1 sigma depth of 2.2 mJy per beam at 850 mu m (25 mJy per beam at 450 mu m), and the source-extraction routines give a source density of 650 +/- 50 sources de(g-)2 > 3 sigma at 850 mu m. Although uncorrected for Eddington bias, this source density is more than sufficient for providing enough sources to answer the science goals of SHADES, once half a square degree is observed. A refined reanalysis of the original 8-mJy survey Lockman hole data was carried out in order to evaluate the new data-reduction pipeline. Of the 17 most secure sources in the original sample, 12 have been reconfirmed, including 10 of the 11 for which radio identifications were previously secured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-580
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2005

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • galaxies: starburst
  • stars: neutron
  • galaxies: formation
  • cosmology: observations
  • dense matter
  • infrared: galaxies
  • submillimetre
  • galaxies: evolution


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