The wide-field, multiplexed, spectroscopic facility WEAVE: Survey design, overview, and simulated implementation

WEAVE consortium, Shoko Jin, Scott C. Trager, Gavin B. Dalton, J. Alfonso L. Aguerri, J. E. Drew, Jesús Falcón-Barroso, Boris T. Gänsicke, Vanessa Hill, Angela Iovino, Matthew M. Pieri, Bianca M. Poggianti, D. J. B. Smith, Antonella Vallenari, Don Carlos Abrams, David S. Aguado, Teresa Antoja, Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca, Yago Ascasibar, Carine BabusiauxMarc Balcells, R. Barrena, Giuseppina Battaglia, Vasily Belokurov, Thomas Bensby, Piercarlo Bonifacio, Angela Bragaglia, Esperanza Carrasco, Ricardo Carrera, Daniel J. Cornwell, Lilian Domínguez-Palmero, Kenneth J. Duncan, Benoit Famaey, Cecilia Fariña, Oscar A. Gonzalez, Steve Guest, Nina A. Hatch, Kelley M. Hess, Matthew J. Hoskin, Mike Irwin, Johan H. Knapen, Maria Monguió, Roberto Raddi, Alyssa Drake, T. M. Gledhill, Martin J. Hardcastle, Amy Harris, Matt J. Jarvis, Shaun C. Read, Wendy L. Williams, Nicholas J. Wright

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WEAVE, the new wide-field, massively multiplexed spectroscopic survey facility for the William Herschel Telescope, will see first light in late 2022. WEAVE comprises a new 2-degree field-of-view prime-focus corrector system, a nearly 1000-multiplex fibre positioner, 20 individually deployable 'mini' integral field units (IFUs), and a single large IFU. These fibre systems feed a dual-beam spectrograph covering the wavelength range 366$-$959\,nm at $R\sim5000$, or two shorter ranges at $R\sim20\,000$. After summarising the design and implementation of WEAVE and its data systems, we present the organisation, science drivers and design of a five- to seven-year programme of eight individual surveys to: (i) study our Galaxy's origins by completing Gaia's phase-space information, providing metallicities to its limiting magnitude for $\sim$3 million stars and detailed abundances for $\sim1.5$ million brighter field and open-cluster stars; (ii) survey $\sim0.4$ million Galactic-plane OBA stars, young stellar objects and nearby gas to understand the evolution of young stars and their environments; (iii) perform an extensive spectral survey of white dwarfs; (iv) survey $\sim400$ neutral-hydrogen-selected galaxies with the IFUs; (v) study properties and kinematics of stellar populations and ionised gas in $z1$ million spectra of LOFAR-selected radio sources; (viii) trace structures using intergalactic/circumgalactic gas at $z>2$. Finally, we describe the WEAVE Operational Rehearsals using the WEAVE Simulator.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberstad557
Pages (from-to)1-41
Number of pages41
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date9 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2023


  • astro-ph.IM
  • astro-ph.CO
  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.SR


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