First Science Raft Tower Module Completed!

December 9, 2016 - The Science Raft team, located primarily at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), has constructed the very first Science Raft Tower Module populated with a full array of 9 CCDs and 3 Raft Electronics Boards (REBs).  The Raft is an Engineering Test Unit (ETU1), which was assembled for design and construction validation purposes and will be used to support commissioning efforts at Test Stand 8 where a full suite of electro-optical tests will be performed at the Raft level.  The Raft Sensor Assembly (RSA) for this ETU was already leveraged to commission Test Stand 5, where warm and cold RSA metrology is performed at temperatures as low as -100oC.

DM-Commissioning Workshop

December 9, 2016 - As part of preparations for the upcoming Commissioning Plan review next January at SLAC, Systems Scientist Chuck Claver led a productive Data Management (DM)-centered commissioning workshop at the University of Washington this week.  The team worked on defining the observations needed to verify the scientific performance of the DM system and how to manage the transfer from commissioning to operations. Workshop participants included Keith Bechtold, Eric Bellm, Andy Connolly, Robert Gruendl (remotely),  Zeljko Ivezic, Mario Juric, K-T Lim, Robert Lupton, and Kevin Reil. Their main deliverable is a revised and significantly extended Commissioning Plan document and detailed plans for the review presentations.

Coating Plant PDR Review

December 2, 2016 - Five members of the T&S team traveled to Dresden to participate in the LSST Coating Plant PDR review on Nov 29th-Dec 2nd. The focus of the meeting was to review design progress of the vacuum vessels, pumping equipment, coating process, and cleaning/washing platforms and equipment. The team at Von Ardenne has designed a custom rotary magnetron system capable of meeting the stringent LSST requirements for coating thickness and uniformity. While the team was there for the review, they got to witness the first light of LSST's custom 2.4-meter magnetron. (pictured).Other topics included participation remotely to Tucson to review electrical, safety, and hazard analysis.


November 17, 2016 - Project Scientist Zeljko Ivezic and Data Management team member Meredith Rawls, both astronomers at the University of Washington, along with David Ciardi, the science lead for LSST’s Science User Interface Team (SUIT) from IPAC, all participated in the 105th Meeting of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) in Boston, MA, November 10 – 12, 2016.  The theme of this year’s meeting was The AAVSO's Role in the Age of Large Surveys and throughout the meeting, many presentations and discussions explored ways in which amateur astronomers could contribute their expertise to extend the science being done by surveys such as LSST,

LSST Up Close

November 17, 2016 - LSST Science Collaboration Coordinator Lucianne Walkowicz got an up-close tour of the LSST site this week. She was part of a group in La Serena for a Gemini Board meeting and was able to join a group tour of Gemini-South and the LSST construction site on Cerro Pachón.  Wearing their safety vests, hard hats, and steel-toed shoes, the group was able to see recent progress which includes work beginning on the calibration telescope

Requirements Engineering

November 11, 2016 - LSST Systems Engineers George Angeli, Kathryn Wesson, Gregory Dubois-Felsmann, and Brian Selvy met in Pasadena, CA, last week with other major astronomy projects and software vendors (NoMagic, Intercax) to explore the use of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) tools.  Representatives from LSST, TMT, GMT, and


November 4, 2016 - Four engineers from LSST attended the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) meeting in Philadelphia, PA, October 27 - 29, a meeting which brought together 5000 individuals for professional and personal development.  AURA sponsored a booth at the meeting on behalf of LSST, NOAO, NSO, Gemini and STScI

Tunguska, baby!

November 4, 2016 - UW astronomy Research Scientists John Parejko and David Reiss presented "LSST: Mining the Universe in 4D" to a crowd of 250-300 beer drinkers at a local Seattle bar for a special edition of "Astronomy on Tap”.  This monthly event partnered with TEDx this time around and drew a crowd of about 300 enthusiastic attendees.

New Camera Website & Video

November 1, 2016 - Today SLAC launched a new media-rich website and video about the LSST digital camera, the largest ever built for astronomy.  Ranked as the top ground-based national priority for the field for the current decade, LSST is currently under construction in Chile. The U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is leading the construction of the LSST camera – the largest digital camera ever built for astronomy. Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation.


October 28, 2016 - LSST was prominent at last week’s AAS DPS/EPSC meeting in Pasadena, CA, starting with a workshop titled “Getting to Know the LSST”.  Deputy Director Beth Willman presented a summary and status of LSST followed by Nate Lust presenting work on false positive rates for LSST moving objects and Lynne Jones (and the littlest #LSST scientist) talking about LSST's observing strategy and aspects of LSST's planetary astronomy science capabilities.  A few dozen people attended the workshop, which wrapped up with an engaged Q&A session. 


Financial support for Rubin Observatory 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 Rubin Observatory 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 the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) 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.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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