Supernova / Acceleration Probe: A Satellite Experiment to Study the Nature of the Dark Energy
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Supernova / Acceleration Probe: A Satellite Experiment to Study the Nature of the Dark Energy

  • Author(s): Collaboration, SNAP;
  • Aldering, G;
  • Althouse, W;
  • Amanullah, R;
  • Annis, J;
  • Astier, P;
  • Baltay, C;
  • Barrelet, E;
  • Basa, S;
  • Bebek, C;
  • Bergstrom, L;
  • Bernstein, G;
  • Bester, M;
  • Bigelow, B;
  • Blandford, R;
  • Bohlin, R;
  • Bonissent, A;
  • Bower, C;
  • Brown, M;
  • Campbell, M;
  • Carithers, W;
  • Commins, E;
  • Craig, W;
  • Day, C;
  • DeJongh, F;
  • Deustua, S;
  • Diehl, T;
  • Dodelson, S;
  • Ealet, A;
  • Ellis, R;
  • Emmet, W;
  • Fouchez, D;
  • Frieman, J;
  • Fruchter, A;
  • Gerdes, D;
  • Gladney, L;
  • Goldhaber, G;
  • Goobar, A;
  • Groom, D;
  • Heetderks, H;
  • Hoff, M;
  • Holland, S;
  • Huffer, M;
  • Hui, L;
  • Huterer, D;
  • Jain, B;
  • Jelinsky, P;
  • Karcher, A;
  • Kent, S;
  • Kahn, S;
  • Kim, A;
  • Kolbe, W;
  • Krieger, B;
  • Kushner, G;
  • Kuznetsova, N;
  • Lafever, R;
  • Lamoureux, J;
  • Lampton, M;
  • Fevre, O Le;
  • Levi, M;
  • Limon, P;
  • Lin, H;
  • Linder, E;
  • Loken, S;
  • Lorenzon, W;
  • Malina, R;
  • Marriner, J;
  • Marshall, P;
  • Massey, R;
  • Mazure, A;
  • McKay, T;
  • McKee, S;
  • Miquel, R;
  • Morgan, N;
  • Mortsell, E;
  • Mostek, N;
  • Mufson, S;
  • Musser, J;
  • Nugent, P;
  • Oluseyi, H;
  • Pain, R;
  • Palaio, N;
  • Pankow, D;
  • Peoples, J;
  • Perlmutter, S;
  • Prieto, E;
  • Rabinowitz, D;
  • Refregier, A;
  • Rhodes, J;
  • Roe, N;
  • Rusin, D;
  • Scarpine, V;
  • Schubnell, M;
  • Sholl, M;
  • Smadja, G;
  • Smith, RM;
  • Smoot, G;
  • Snyder, J;
  • Spadafora, A;
  • Stebbins, A;
  • Stoughton, C;
  • Szymkowiak, A;
  • Tarle, G;
  • Taylor, K;
  • Tilquin, A;
  • Tomasch, A;
  • Tucker, D;
  • Vincent, D;
  • Lippe, H von der;
  • Walder, J-P;
  • Wang, G;
  • Wester, W
  • et al.
Abstract

The Supernova / Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is a proposed space-based experiment designed to study the dark energy and alternative explanations of the acceleration of the Universe's expansion by performing a series of complementary systematics-controlled measurements. We describe a self-consistent reference mission design for building a Type Ia supernova Hubble diagram and for performing a wide-area weak gravitational lensing study. A 2-m wide-field telescope feeds a focal plane consisting of a 0.7 square-degree imager tiled with equal areas of optical CCDs and near infrared sensors, and a high-efficiency low-resolution integral field spectrograph. The SNAP mission will obtain high-signal-to-noise calibrated light-curves and spectra for several thousand supernovae at redshifts between z=0.1 and 1.7. A wide-field survey covering one thousand square degrees resolves ~100 galaxies per square arcminute. If we assume we live in a cosmological-constant-dominated Universe, the matter density, dark energy density, and flatness of space can all be measured with SNAP supernova and weak-lensing measurements to a systematics-limited accuracy of 1%. For a flat universe, the density-to-pressure ratio of dark energy can be similarly measured to 5% for the present value w0 and ~0.1 for the time variation w'. The large survey area, depth, spatial resolution, time-sampling, and nine-band optical to NIR photometry will support additional independent and/or complementary dark-energy measurement approaches as well as a broad range of auxiliary science programs. (Abridged)

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