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The Spectroscopic Data Processing Pipeline for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument

Guy, J.; Bailey, S.; Kremin, A.; Alam, Shadab; Alexander, D.M.; Allende Prieto, C.; BenZvi, S.; Bolton, A.S.; Brooks, D.; Chaussidon, E.; Cooper, A.P.; Dawson, K.; de la Macorra, A.; Dey, A.; Dey, Biprateep; Dhungana, G.; Eisenstein, D.J.; Font-Ribera, A.; Forero-Romero, J.E.; Gaztañaga, E.; Gontcho A Gontcho, S.; Green, D.; Honscheid, K.; Ishak, M.; Kehoe, R.; Kirkby, D.; Kisner, T.; Koposov, Sergey E.; Lan, Ting-Wen; Landriau, M.; Le Guillou, L.; Levi, Michael E.; Magneville, C.; Manser, Christopher J.; Martini, P.; Meisner, Aaron M.; Miquel, R.; Moustakas, J.; Myers, Adam D.; Newman, Jeffrey A.; Nie, Jundan; Palanque-Delabrouille, N.; Percival, W.J.; Poppett, C.; Prada, F.; Raichoor, A.; Ravoux, C.; Ross, A.J.; Schlafly, E.F.; Schlegel, D.; Schubnell, M.; Sharples, Ray M.; Tarlé, Gregory; Weaver, B.A.; Yéche, Christophe; Zhou, Rongpu; Zhou, Zhimin; Zou, H.

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J. Guy

S. Bailey

A. Kremin

Shadab Alam

C. Allende Prieto

S. BenZvi

A.S. Bolton

D. Brooks

E. Chaussidon

A.P. Cooper

K. Dawson

A. de la Macorra

A. Dey

Biprateep Dey

G. Dhungana

D.J. Eisenstein

A. Font-Ribera

J.E. Forero-Romero

E. Gaztañaga

S. Gontcho A Gontcho

D. Green

K. Honscheid

M. Ishak

R. Kehoe

D. Kirkby

T. Kisner

Sergey E. Koposov

Ting-Wen Lan

M. Landriau

L. Le Guillou

Michael E. Levi

C. Magneville

Christopher J. Manser

P. Martini

Aaron M. Meisner

R. Miquel

J. Moustakas

Adam D. Myers

Jeffrey A. Newman

Jundan Nie

N. Palanque-Delabrouille

W.J. Percival

C. Poppett

F. Prada

A. Raichoor

C. Ravoux

A.J. Ross

E.F. Schlafly

D. Schlegel

M. Schubnell

Gregory Tarlé

B.A. Weaver

Christophe Yéche

Rongpu Zhou

Zhimin Zhou

H. Zou


We describe the spectroscopic data processing pipeline of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), which is conducting a redshift survey of about 40 million galaxies and quasars using a purpose-built instrument on the 4 m Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. The main goal of DESI is to measure with unprecedented precision the expansion history of the universe with the baryon acoustic oscillation technique and the growth rate of structure with redshift space distortions. Ten spectrographs with three cameras each disperse the light from 5000 fibers onto 30 CCDs, covering the near-UV to near-infrared (3600–9800 Å) with a spectral resolution ranging from 2000 to 5000. The DESI data pipeline generates wavelength- and flux-calibrated spectra of all the targets, along with spectroscopic classifications and redshift measurements. Fully processed data from each night are typically available to the DESI collaboration the following morning. We give details about the pipeline's algorithms, and provide performance results on the stability of the optics, the quality of the sky background subtraction, and the precision and accuracy of the instrumental calibration. This pipeline has been used to process the DESI Survey Validation data set, and has exceeded the project's requirements for redshift performance, with high efficiency and a purity greater than 99% for all target classes.


Guy, J., Bailey, S., Kremin, A., Alam, S., Alexander, D., Allende Prieto, C., …Zou, H. (2023). The Spectroscopic Data Processing Pipeline for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument. Astrophysical Journal, 165(4), Article 144.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 9, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 3, 2023
Publication Date Apr 1, 2023
Deposit Date May 24, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 24, 2023
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 165
Issue 4
Article Number 144
Public URL


Published Journal Article (49.2 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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