Optical cross-correlation filters: An economical approach for identifying SNe ia and estimating their redshifts
Large photometric surveys of transient phenomena, such as Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, will locate thousands to millions of Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) candidates per year, a rate prohibitive for acquiring spectroscopy to determine each candidate's type and redshift. In response, we have developed an economical approach to identifying SNe Ia and their redshifts using an uncommon type of optical filter which has multiple, discontinuous passbands on a single substrate. Observation of a supernova through a specially designed pair of these "cross- correlation filters" measures the approximate amplitude and phase of the cross-correlation between the spectrum and a SN Ia template, a quantity typically used to determine the redshift and type of a high-redshift SN Ia. Simulating the use of these filters, we obtain a sample of SNe Ia which is 98% pure with individual redshifts measured to σz = 0.01 precision. The advantages of this approach over standard broadband photometric methods are that it is insensitive to reddening, independent of the color data used for subsequent distance determinations which reduce selection or interpretation bias, and because it makes use of the spectral features its reliability is greater. A great advantage over long-slit spectroscopy comes from increased throughput, enhanced multiplexing, and reduced setup time resulting in a net gain in speed of up to 30 times. This approach is also insensitive to host galaxy contamination. Prototype filters were built and successfully used on Magellan with LDSS-3 to characterize three SuperNova Legacy Survey candidates. We discuss how these filters can provide critical information for the upcoming photometric supernova surveys. © 2009. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Scolnic, DM; Riess, AG; Huber, ME; Rest, A; Stubbs, CW; Tonry, JL
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