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An optimized tiling pattern for multiobject spectroscopic surveys: application to the 4MOST survey

Tempel, E.; Tuvikene, T.; Muru, M.M.; Stoica, R.S.; Bensby, T.; Chiappini, C.; Christlieb, N.; Cioni, M.-R.L.; Comparat, J.; Feltzing, S.; Hook, I.; Koch, A.; Kordopatis, G.; Krumpe, M.; Loveday, J.; Minchev, I.; Norberg, P.; Roukema, B.F.; Sorce, J.G.; Storm, J.; Swann, E.; Taylor, E.N.; Traven, G.; Walcher, C.J.; de Jong, R.S.

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E. Tempel

T. Tuvikene

M.M. Muru

R.S. Stoica

T. Bensby

C. Chiappini

N. Christlieb

M.-R.L. Cioni

J. Comparat

S. Feltzing

I. Hook

A. Koch

G. Kordopatis

M. Krumpe

J. Loveday

I. Minchev

B.F. Roukema

J.G. Sorce

J. Storm

E. Swann

E.N. Taylor

G. Traven

C.J. Walcher

R.S. de Jong


Large multiobject spectroscopic surveys require automated algorithms to optimize their observing strategy. One of the most ambitious upcoming spectroscopic surveys is the 4MOST survey. The 4MOST survey facility is a fibre-fed spectroscopic instrument on the VISTA telescope with a large enough field of view to survey a large fraction of the southern sky within a few years. Several Galactic and extragalactic surveys will be carried out simultaneously, so the combined target density will strongly vary. In this paper, we describe a new tiling algorithm that can naturally deal with the large target density variations on the sky and which automatically handles the different exposure times of targets. The tiling pattern is modelled as a marked point process, which is characterized by a probability density that integrates the requirements imposed by the 4MOST survey. The optimal tilling pattern with respect to the defined model is estimated by the tiles configuration that maximizes the proposed probability density. In order to achieve this maximization a simulated annealing algorithm is implemented. The algorithm automatically finds an optimal tiling pattern and assigns a tentative sky brightness condition and exposure time for each tile, while minimizing the total execution time that is needed to observe the list of targets in the combined input catalogue of all surveys. Hence, the algorithm maximizes the long-term observing efficiency and provides an optimal tiling solution for the survey. While designed for the 4MOST survey, the algorithm is flexible and can with simple modifications be applied to any other multiobject spectroscopic survey.


Tempel, E., Tuvikene, T., Muru, M., Stoica, R., Bensby, T., Chiappini, C., …de Jong, R. (2020). An optimized tiling pattern for multiobject spectroscopic surveys: application to the 4MOST survey. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 497(4), 4626-4643.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2020
Publication Date 2020-10
Deposit Date Oct 20, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 22, 2020
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 497
Issue 4
Pages 4626-4643


Published Journal Article (25.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ©: 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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