Holiday Greetings / Saludos de fin de año

Holiday Greetings from LSST - On behalf of the Project Office, we wish you a joyous holiday season and Happy New Year!

Saludos de fin de año del LSST - En nombre de la oficina del proyecto, les deseamos unas felices fiestas y un próspero año nuevo

Promoting Workplace Culture

December 18, 2015AURA’s Workforce and Diversity Committee (WDC) met in Tucson last week, to further the important work this committee has been doing since its inception in 2008.    Each AURA Center, including the LSST Project Office, is represented on the WDC through their Diversity Advocate (DA); the WDC is the only AURA governance committee with members who are AURA employees.  This committee supports a partnership between the DAs, Human Resources representatives, and external experts to realize AURA’s vision of a modern organization:a fully diverse staff (in all dimensions) who feel genuinely empowered to bring their diverse perspectives into the ongoing creation of ideas and approaches. 

Inspiring Future Astro-Engineers in Chile

December 11, 2015 - LSST Optics Engineer Constanza Araujo attended the III Astro-Engineering Workshop in Santiago in November and gave a talk on the LSST Optical System.  To promote engineering disciplines that are needed in the new and current observatories in Chile, her presentation included a brief description of the work of an optical engineer in a telescope project while in construction phase. 

LSST Operations Planning

December 4, 2015 - The LSST Operations Plan is now under development by the LSST Operations Planning Team (LOPT, co-chaired by Deputy Director Beth Willman and Systems Scientist Chuck Claver). The LOPT is starting with a bird's eye view of the operations goals and deliverables, and working from the "top down" to generate the work breakdown structure, staffing, and non-labor expenses needed to deliver in Operations. The LOPT is building on the Operations Plan led by Sidney Wolff and presented at FDR, and is also supported by the work of the Technical Operations Working Group (TOWG).

LSST Director Elected 2015 AAAS Fellow

The LSST Project Team congratulates Director Steve Kahn who has been elected as a 2015 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS members are elected as Fellows by their peers in recognition of their contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership. Steve was elected for his ongoing leadership of the LSST project and for his contributions to X-ray astronomy through observations made with XMM-Newton’s Reflection Grating Spectrometer. The AAAS Council elected 347 Fellows for 2015; Steve was one of 13 recognized in the organization's Physics section. AAAS announced the elections 16 November.

DMLT - On the Road(map) Again

November 19, 2015 - The Data Management (DM) Leadership Team held their quarterly meeting in Princeton this week. The primary result was an agreement on refinements to the DM Roadmap, the milestone plan for construction and commissioning. In addition to analyzing the impact of the update, the team discussed communications and behavior, management and prioritization. Emerging architecture for developing and maintaining user and developer software documentation was explored, along with emerging disruptive technologies and their potential impact on DM. A new capability for chaining software tasks into pipelines was also demonstrated. Further technical discussion can be found at

Project Team Resources: Orientation & Travel

As a distributed project with team members in several countries, working at many institutions as well as at the AURA LSST Center, it is vital that we all share a common understanding of LSST policies, standards, practices, and tools. Today's blog posting features two resources to help with that goal.

Increasing Safety Oversight

LSST construction efforts on Cerro Pachón are scaling up rapidly and Safety Coordinator Sandra Romero, shown here with Project Manager Victor Krabbendam (L) and Site Manager Eduardo Serrano (R), will help monitor the on-site contractor's safety program and activities on Cerro Pachón. Sandra has been working with us for several months but we recently coordinated efforts with Gemini to have her spend more time with LSST on the summit where she will bring her construction expertise to our increasing level of oversight. The site remains the responsibility of our General contractor, Besalco, that has been executing a very successful safety program but AURA/LSST oversight will be increasing as the construction team reaches over 100 people on site and the work site expands.

LSST at Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Conference in Nashville

LSST Optics Engineer Constanza Araujo attended the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) WE15 conference October 22-25, 2015 in Nashville, TN where she interacted with colleagues from around the world and represented LSST at a career fair booth. WE15 is the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology with more than 8,000 attendees from around the globe. This year, for the first time, a large number of engineers from telescope projects were present. The conference’s more than 350 professional development sessions provided opportunities for continuing education and to learn new skills and life hacks.

LSST M1M3 Mirror Cell Contract to CAID Industries

On October 6th, AURA awarded the LSST M1M3 Mirror Cell contract to CAID Industries, Inc. based in Arizona. The work includes the final design, manufacturing, assembly, and vacuum testing of the 26,000kg (57,000lb) steel cell. The large, complex 9m x 9m x 2m (30ft x 30ft x 7ft) weldment safely supports the M1M3 mirror while on the telescope mount assembly and also functions as the low vacuum chamber vessel to enable coating of the mirror surfaces. The work will be done at the CAID facility in Tucson over the next 16 months. Upon completion, the Mirror Cell will be integrated with the M1M3 mirror currently in storage in Tucson, to enable active optical testing at the University of Arizona Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab prior to shipment of the systems to Chile.


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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