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The project

The Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte (OAC) in collaboration with ESO is currently building the VLT Survey Telescope or VST, a 2.6 m telescope entirely dedicated to imaging work which will become operational in the Fall of 2002 and will be located next to VLT, on the Paranal plateau. VST will be equipped with the OMEGAM camera (a 16k X 16k array of 32 CCD's) which will cover 1 square degree. The expected throughput of the system VST+OMEGAM will be about 100 GB per night and for many applications these data will need to be processed and analyzed on a very short time scale.

In order to be ready for the scientific exploitation of VST, the OAC has started a pilot project, the OACDF, which is a multicolor imaging survey covering 1 square degree. The OACDF data were acquired with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) attached to the ESO 2.2m telescope at La Silla, Chile.

The field selection for the OACDF was based on the following criteria:

i) lack of stars brighter than V = 9 and lack of Solar System planets nearby to the field, in order to avoid CCD saturation and ghost effects;

ii) high galactic latitude in order to avoid high stellar crowding;

iii) negative declination in order to minimize atmospheric extinction effects;

The selected field is in the direction of the constelation of "corvus" (the raven).

A more detailed description of the OACDF project, as well as of the methods for the data reduction, astrometric calibration, photometric calibration and the catalogue extraction can be found in the paper draft " The Capodimonte Deep Field: data reduction and first results of galaxy clusters identificatio".