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WAVES is a massively multiplexed spectroscopic survey of 1.7 million galaxies due to commence on the VISTA telescope as part of the 4MOST Consortium’s suite of surveys. We’re targeting two wide fields (WAVES-North and WAVES-South), one deep field (WAVES-Deep) and four deep drill fields (WD01, WD02, WD03, WD10).

The survey is led by a European-Australian Consortium (PIs Simon Driver, UWA & Jochen Liske, Hamburg University) and will build upon the excellent imaging data provided by the European Southern Observatory’s Public Surveys: VST KiDS and VISTA VIKING.

WAVES will provide a comprehensive and highly complete study of the galaxy populations extending to the lowest possible stellar and halo mass and flux limits locally, and to the greatest depths. The cone plot below shows the evolution of surveys and where the focus of WAVES is on target density not survey volume in order to best sample the underlying structure.

A further key factor in designing WAVES is to maximise synergy with existing and upcoming facilities, including GALEX, WISE, Herschel, and in the future with additional complementary datasets from Euclid, LSST, Roman, SKA-mid, ASKAP and JWST.

The current survey design is still a little fluid but within the project is now formally under change control (i.e., changes can happen but require the agreement of the Change Control Board) , The original WAVES survey will comprise of three distinct sub-surveys WAVES-Wide, and WAVES-Deep along with three community surveys subsumed within WAVES: ORCHIDSS, StePS and 4C3R2. WAVES-Wide covers the KiDS/VIKING  regions, within which WAVES-Deep covers the GAMA 23h field. WAVES-DDF consists of four single 4MOST pointings in the LSST deep-drill regions (ELAIS-S1, XMMLSS, ECDFS and COSMOS).

The survey footprints are as specified below:

NameShort NameRA low/CentRA highDec low/CentDec highAESOP
Area/deg2photo-z cut magnitude limitN targets/millionFibre hrs/million
WAVES-Wide NWW-N157.25225.0-3.953.95~5350.2Z<20.7~0.41~0.4
WAVES-Wide SWW-S330.051.6-35.6-27.0~5990.2Z<20.7~0.47~0.4
WAVES-Deep 23WD-23339.0351.0-35.0-30.0~510.8Z<21.0~0.55~0.5
WAVES-Deep 01h (ELAIS-S1)WD-019.50-43.950~40.8Z<21.0~0.04~0.08
WAVES-Deep 02h (XMMLSS)WD-02 35.875 – -5.025 –30 ~4 0.8 Z<21.0 ~0.04 ~0.86
WAVES-Deep 03h (ECDFS)WD-03 53.125 – -28.1  –30 ~4 0.8 Z<21.0 ~0.04 ~0.08
WAVES-Deep 10h (COSMOS)WD-10 150.125 – 2.20  –30~4 0.8 Z<21.0 ~0.04 ~0.08
The current design footprint and selection for each region
(RA,Dec in degrees)
(RA,Dec in degrees)
(RA,Dec in degrees)
(RA,Dec in degrees)
9.500000, -42.68324035.240129, -3.92795452.414122, -27.002954149.490570, 3.297046
11.007814, -43.31662036.509871, -3.92795453.835877, -27.002954150.759430, 3.297046
11.040298, -44.58338037.146647, -5.02500054.561029, -28.100000151.392694, 2.200000
9.500000, -45.21676036.512013, -6.12204653.850565, -29.197046150.758497, 1.102954
7.959702, -44.58338035.237987, -6.12204652.399435, -29.197046149.491503, 1.102954
7.992186, -43.31662034.603353, -5.02500051.688971, -28.100000148.857306, 2.200000
The AESOP hexagon vertices for the four Deep Drill Fields

Whilst survey design is underway, readers should note that the numbers given here are rough guides.