Blogs

New OpSim Reference Run

August 26, 2016 - There are several sets of simulated surveys produced using the Operations Simulator (OpSim) which are available to the LSST Project and to the scientific community.  A new OpSim Reference Simulated Survey, minion_1016, has been approved and placed under change control.  This Reference Run replaces opsim3.61 and is an updated demonstration of the primary capabilities of the OpSim v3.3.5 codebase.  A Reference Simulated Survey (or Reference Run) is a technical designation and is a demonstration of the primary capabilities of the OpSim v3.3.5 codebase.

LSST: Dark Matter & Dark Energy

August 12, 2016 – Cosmologist Risa Wechsler explains how LSST will contribute to our understanding of dark matter and dark energy in this three-minute video and twitter conversation presented as part of the #AskSymmetry video series.

Interactive 3D Model of the LSST Construction Site

LSST Construction by jsebag on Sketchfab

July 29, 2016 - This model is our first attempt at using the measurements taken on site in February 2016 with a DJI phantom 3 pro drone to create a 3D map of the LSST summit construction on Cerro Pachón (Chile). This is a first step towards capturing the progress of the construction in 3D.  The drone is programmed to fly prescribed circuits around the summit to cover the site at different angles. The time required to complete a circuit is variable between 15 and 30min depending on the area to cover and the battery lifetime. 

Testing the LSST Lifting Platform @Pflow

July 21, 2016 - PFlow Industries performed a successful setup and test on July 18th of their platform lift, which will be installed in the summit facility to transport the LSST mirrors and camera. The lift platform is pictured with the test load of approximately 140,000 lbs of concrete blocks. As witnessed by Bill Gressler, Jeff Barr, Freddy Muñoz and the PFlow engineering team, the lift functioned smoothly and flawlessly under load and was also tested for safety interlocks and response to fault conditions. The entire lift assembly will now be disassembled, painted, and packed for shipment to the construction site - anticipated to arrive in October and begin its installation in November.

LSST@SPIE 2016

July 5, 2016 - LSST was well represented at the 2016 SPIE meeting on Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation in Edinburgh, Scotland last week with more than 40 LSST-related oral and poster presentations as well as an LSST booth in the exhibition hall.  LSST presentations will be made available through Zenodo.org; press coverage about LSST from the meeting included this article in Optics.org, based on Steve Kahn’s invited talk.  Victor Krabbendam, Frossie Economou, and Bill Gressler also gave invited talks in their respective areas of expertise. 

M1M3 Cell Stress Relieving

June 23, 2016 - The M1M3 cell was stress relieved inside the heavy fab building at CAID Industries in Tucson, AZ on 6/8/2016.  Stress relieving relaxes residual stresses built up in the steel caused by welding and working it to provide a stable structure to prevent warpage over time.  The Stress relieving process lasted about 24 hours and consumed 1200 gallons of propane with temperatures reaching up to 1050 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Successful Dome Review

June 16, 2016 - Several members of the Telescope & Site team traveled to Mestre, Italy the week of June 6th to conduct a Final Design Review (FDR) of the LSST dome with vendor EIE Group.  LSST acknowledged the high quality of work done by the EIE team and appreciated the good working relationship that has been established.  Nine items were identified that require immediate formal action and closure in writing prior to receiving approval to move into construction.  All of these “Tier 1” items are quite doable and pose no significant issue moving forward.  Overall the quality and quantity of work completed to date was deemed adequate for FDR, and the review a success!

LSST ILCs – the New Gold Standard!

The first set of 24 custom electronics units built by the Telescope & Site group is complete.  Inner Loop Controllers (ILC) are components which measure and control forces with the mirror actuators, shaping the mirror to preserve its precise curvature at different sky positions.  This first shipment of ILC units will be integrated with the LSST secondary mirror cell at Harris Corporation, in Rochester, NY.

The secondary mirror has a total of 72 ILCs configured for controlling the axial actuators, an additional 6 ILCs configured for controlling the tangent links, and 6 more ILCs configured for sensor data acquisition (elevation angle, displacement, and temperature).

Twin Piers for LSST

June 3, 2016 - Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) subcontractor Asturfeito continues to build the LSST telescope pier in their facility in Spain; this duplicate pier will be used to support the trial assembly and testing of the TMA.  LSST Telescope Technical Manager Shawn Callahan explains the pier construction process shown in the image:

LSST M1M3 Mirror Cell Weldment Ready for Oven!

May 27, 2016 - The 9-meter x 9-meter x 2-meter M1M3 mirror cell weldment, fabricated by CAID Industries, Inc. in Tucson, AZ, is now being prepared for immersion in a large oven for thermal stress relief. The oven is 32 ft x 32 ft x 12 ft and will ramp up at 100deg/hr until it reaches 1150deg. Then the mirror cell is soaked for 8 hours at 1150deg before cooling at 200deg/hr down to 600 deg. From there it’s left to cool naturally. This process starts on June 9th. Final machining is next to prepare the cell for mirror support integration in early 2017. Great progress!

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Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded LSST Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the LSST camera is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.


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