The clustering of Galaxies in the SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey: potential systematics in fitting of baryon acoustic feature
Extraction of the Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO) to per cent level accuracy is challenging and demands an understanding of many potential systematics to an accuracy well below 1 per cent, in order to ensure that they do not combine significantly when compared to statistical error of the BAO measurement. Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) Data Release 11 (DR11) reaches a distance measurement with ∼1 per cent statistical error and this prompts an extensive search for all possible sub-per cent level systematic errors which could previously be safely ignored. In this paper, we analyse the potential systematics in BAO fitting methodology using mocks and data from BOSS DR10 and DR11. We demonstrate the robustness of the fiducial multipole fitting methodology to be at 0.1-0.2 per cent level with a wide range of tests in mock galaxy catalogues pre- and post-reconstruction. We also find the DR10 and DR11 data from BOSS to be robust against changes in methodology at a similar level. This systematic error budget is incorporated into the BOSS DR10 and DR11 BAO measurements. Of the wide range of changes we have investigated, we find that when fitting post-reconstructed data or mocks, the only change which has an effect >0.1 per cent on the best-fitting values of distance measurements is varying the order of the polynomials to describe the broad-band terms (∼0.2 per cent). Finally, we compare an alternative methodology denoted as Clustering Wedges with Multipoles, and find that it is consistent with the standard approach.