We outline the prospects for performing pioneering radio weak gravitational lensing analyses using observations from a potential forthcoming JVLA Sky Survey program. A large-scale survey with the JVLA can offer interesting and unique opportunities for performing weak lensing studies in the radio band, a field which has until now been the preserve of optical telescopes. In particular, the JVLA has the capacity for large, deep radio surveys with relatively high angular resolution, which are the key characteristics required for a successful weak lensing study. We highlight the potential advantages and unique aspects of performing weak lensing in the radio band. In particular, the inclusion of continuum polarisation information can greatly reduce noise in weak lensing reconstructions and can also remove the effects of intrinsic galaxy alignments, the key astrophysical systematic effect that limits weak lensing at all wavelengths. We identify a VLASS "deep fields" program (total area ~10-20 square degs), to be conducted at L-band and with high-resolution (A-array configuration), as the optimal survey strategy from the point of view of weak lensing science. Such a survey will build on the unique strengths of the JVLA and will remain unsurpassed in terms of its combination of resolution and sensitivity until the advent of the Square Kilometre Array. We identify the best fields on the JVLA-accessible sky from the point of view of overlapping with existing deep optical and near infra-red data which will provide crucial redshift information and facilitate a host of additional compelling multi-wavelength science.
|Number of pages||14|
|Early online date||19 Dec 2013|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Dec 2013|
Submitted in response to NRAO's recent call for community white papers on the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS)