The DAFT/FADA Project: A Study of Clusters of Galaxies and a Forerunner to Much Larger WLT Projects
The Dark energy American French Team (DAFT) was initiated with a 1 year DOE grant to study the nature of Dark Energy via weak lensing tomography as applied to rich clusters of galaxies. Rich clusters of galaxies are the largest gravitationally bound systems in the Universe. Their formation and evolution can be tied directly to Cold Dark Matter (CDM) and Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) studies. Clusters are large mass concentrations (mean density at 3 million light year radius = 200x the critical density of the Universe) from which we derive information related to the distance versus redshift via weak lensing tomography (WLT).
The initial DOE funded project started us on the path of analyzing HST data and accumulating BVRIZ and J band ground based data for over 60 rich clusters of galaxies. We still have as goal to carry out WLT, but along the way we have amassed a rich data that we are continuing to milk. I will begin with a mini-review of the general topic, and then talk about some of our results as well as lessons learned as they relate to the DES and LSST WLT projects.