Point source confusion in SZ cluster surveys
APC, 11 pl. Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France (UMR 7164 CNRS, Université Paris 7, CEA, Observatoire de Paris) e-mail: email@example.com
2 Department of Physics, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA , 95616 USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 20 September 2005
We examine the effect of point source confusion on cluster detection in Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) surveys. A filter matched to the spatial and spectral characteristics of the SZ signal optimally extracts clusters from the astrophysical backgrounds. We calculate the expected confusion (point source and primary cosmic microwave background [CMB]) noise through this filter and quantify its effect on the detection threshold for both single and multiple frequency surveys. Extrapolating current radio counts, we estimate that confusion from sources below ~Jy limits single-frequency surveys to detection thresholds of 10-6 arcmin2 at 30 GHz and arcmin2 at 15 GHz (for unresolved clusters in a 2 arcmin beam); these numbers are highly uncertain, and an extrapolation with flatter counts leads to much lower confusion limits. Bolometer surveys must contend with an important population of infrared point sources. We find that a three-band matched filter with 1 arcmin resolution (in each band) efficiently reduces confusion, but does not eliminate it: residual point source and CMB fluctuations contribute significantly to the total filter noise. In this light, we find that a 3-band filter with a low-frequency channel (e.g, 90+150+220 GHz) extracts clusters more effectively than one with a high frequency channel (e.g, 150+220+300 GHz).
Key words: cosmic microwave background / galaxies: clusters: general / methods: observational
© ESO, 2006