The SAMI Galaxy Survey: Cubism and covariance, putting round pegs into square holes

R. Sharp*, J. T. Allen, L. M.R. Fogarty, S. M. Croom, L. Cortese, A. W. Green, J. Nielsen, S. N. Richards, N. Scott, E. N. Taylor, L. A. Barnes, A. E. Bauer, M. Birchall, J. Bland-Hawthorn, J. V. Bloom, S. Brough, J. J. Bryant, G. N. Cecil, M. Colless, W. J. CouchM. J. Drinkwater, S. Driver, C. Foster, M. Goodwin, M. L.P. Gunawardhana, I. T. Ho, E. J. Hampton, A. M. Hopkins, H. Jones, I. S. Konstantopoulos, J. S. Lawrence, S. K. Leslie, G. F. Lewis, J. Liske, R. López-Sánchez, N. P.F. Lorente, R. McElroy, A. M. Medling, S. Mahajan, J. Mould, Q. Parker, M. B. Pracy, D. Obreschkow, M. S. Owers, A. L. Schaefer, S. M. Sweet, A. D. Thomas, C. Tonini, C. J. Walcher

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    95 Citations (Scopus)


    We present a methodology for the regularization and combination of sparse sampled and irregularly gridded observations from fibre-optic multiobject integral field spectroscopy. The approach minimizes interpolation and retains image resolution on combining subpixel dithered data. We discuss the methodology in the context of the Sydney-AAO multiobject integral field spectrograph (SAMI) Galaxy Survey underway at the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The SAMI instrument uses 13 fibre bundles to perform high-multiplex integral field spectroscopy across a 1° diameter field of view. The SAMI Galaxy Survey is targeting ~3000 galaxies drawn from the full range of galaxy environments. We demonstrate the subcritical sampling of the seeing and incomplete fill factor for the integral field bundles results in only a 10 per cent degradation in the final image resolution recovered. We also implement a new methodology for tracking covariance between elements of the resulting data cubes which retains 90 per cent of the covariance information while incurring only a modest increase in the survey data volume.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1551-1566
    Number of pages16
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2015


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