The Astronomical Journal
Steinmetz, Matthias; Matijevič, Gal; Enke, Harry; Zwitter, Tomaž; Guiglion, Guillaume; McMillan, Paul J.; Kordopatis, Georges; Valentini, Marica; Chiappini, Cristina; Casagrande, Luca et al.
The Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) is a magnitude-limited (9 < I < 12) spectroscopic survey of Galactic stars randomly selected in Earth's southern hemisphere. The RAVE medium-resolution spectra (R ∼ 7500) cover the Ca-triplet region (8410-8795 Å). The sixth and final data release (DR6) is based on 518,387 observations of 451,783 unique stars. RAVE observations were taken between 2003 April 12 and 2013 April 4. Here we present the genesis, setup, and data reduction of RAVE as well as wavelength-calibrated and flux-normalized spectra and error spectra for all observations in RAVE DR6. Furthermore, we present derived spectral classification and radial velocities for the RAVE targets, complemented by cross-matches with Gaia DR2 and other relevant catalogs. A comparison between internal error estimates, variances derived from stars with more than one observing epoch, and a comparison with radial velocities of Gaia DR2 reveals consistently that 68% of the objects have a velocity accuracy better than 1.4 km s-1, while 95% of the objects have radial velocities better than 4.0 km s-1. Stellar atmospheric parameters, abundances and distances are presented in a subsequent publication. The data can be accessed via the RAVE website (http://rave-survey.org) or the Vizier database.