Blogs

M1M3 Shipping Container Delivered to SOML

The LSST primary/tertiary mirror (M1M3) shipping container was successfully delivered to the University of Arizona Steward Observatory Mirror Lab (SOML) Thursday morning. Escorted by four Tucson Police Department cars and two pilot vehicles, the 30 foot by 30 foot oversized load departed CAID Industries' facility near Tucson International Airport at 4 am. Offloading at SOML was completed by 5:30 am. Once final acceptance testing of M1M3 has been completed, the mirror will be placed in the 36 ton shipping container, which was custom-built for LSST by CAID, and stored locally in Tucson. After final integrated testing, the mirror will be shipped in the container to the Cerro Pachon summit facility in Chile.

Successful DOE CD-2 Review for the LSST Camera

The LSST Camera Team has just completed a very successful Department of Energy (DOE) Critical Decision-2 (CD-2) Review, an important step in gaining approval of the performance baseline.  The three-day review was held at SLAC November 4-6, 2014 and centered on a thorough examination of the cost, schedule, performance, and scope commitment to which DOE will execute the project.   Reviewers described the team as being "superb", well prepared, and working well together.  "Scientific and technical efforts are exceptionally well balanced and integrated."  They also called out the interfaces as being well defined and stable for all physical and logical interfaces.   The project scope, requirements, and technical management processes were found to be in place and sufficiently well defined to e

Welcome Veronica Huerta

Veronica Huerta joined the LSST Project Office (LSSTPO) November 3, 2014 as Compliance and Quality Administrator. She is responsible for ensuring all Project activities comply with federal regulations, awards, agreements, and applicable terms and conditions of AURA policies and procedures and the AURA Award Management Manual. She also works with the LSST Project Manager to ensure that Project policy is followed and with the Systems Engineering team to ensure technical quality is achieved.

Telescope & Site Welcomes Ed Stover and Jaime Seriche

The Telescope and Site subsystem added two new team members in October. Ed Stover joined the team as Senior Engineering Associate effective October 15, transferring from NSO. Jaime Seriche joined the LSST team in Chile on October 20 as the summit Inspector Tecnico de Obras (ITO), or Worksite Inpector.

 

LSST M2 Substrate Received by Exelis

The LSST secondary mirror (M2) substrate has been safely relocated from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA to the Exelis facility in Rochester, NY. The mirror’s trek, which involved the use of a 50-ton internal bridge crane to load the mirror transport box onto a wide-load flatbed truck and a 70-ton external crane to offload it at destination, covered 604 miles in a little over a day. The truck and pilot vehicle departed Harvard at 1 pm on October 20 and arrived in Rochester at 3 pm on October 21. Subsequently, Exelis personnel have disassembled the transport box and thoroughly inspected the substrate.

LSSTC: Preparing for Science

October 6, 2014 - The LSST Corporation (LSSTC) Board of Directors met with LSSTC Institutional Representatives in Tucson last week as the new fiscal year gets underway.   Now that LSST has its federal construction start, the LSST Project Office, an independent AURA Center, is responsible for building the facility and the LSSTC has a very separate role in optimizing science from the completed facility.  Under the leadership of Pat Eliason, the new Executive Officer of LSSTC, the Corporation will focus its efforts on Enabling Science, fundraising, and defining partnerships and plans for Operations.  The LSST Project Office will remain focused on the construction of the LSST facility as detailed in the baseline plan presented to t

LSST Mirror Nears Completion

September 26, 2014 - The LSST monolithic M1M3 mirror blank approaches completion at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The combined primary (M1) and tertiary (M3) surfaces are seen on the left in this image from July 2014 with the red polishing compound highlighting the active polishing zone of M3. In anticipation of completion, the vacuum lifting fixture (right, September 2014) is being assembled to supply suction to lift the mirror off the polishing cell and lower it into the mirror transport box once the polishing is complete. The fixture will then be disassembled and stored locally until it's time to reinstall the M1M3 for final optical testing in the telescope cell prior to shipment to Chile.

Andy Connolly's TED Talk

In March of 2014, UW astronomer and LSST Simulations Lead Andy Connolly was a featured speaker at the Vancouver, Canada, TED Symposium.  He describes LSST when talking about "What's the Next Window into our Universe?".  This talk is now featured online:  "Big Data is everywhere — even the skies. In an informative talk, astronomer Andrew Connolly shows how large amounts of data are being collected about our universe, recording it in its ever-changing moods. Just how do scientists capture so many images at scale? It starts with a giant telescope …"

Welcome New Employees: Frossie Economou & Gary Muller!

September 12, 2014 - The LSST Hiring Campaign continues to attract Top Talent to the project team. Frossie Economou joined LSST on August 4. 2014, as Technical Manager for Data Management (DM) and Education & Public Outreach (EPO). She splits her time between building a team to support the development and science quality activities of the far-flung DM group and planning for the software development effort of the EPO team. Frossie is very excited by the technical ambition of the LSST project, the open-source software development culture, and the extraordinary opportunities presented by the data, both for academic research and public engagement.

Cerro Pachón Flyover

September 5, 2014 - The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is under construction on Cerro Pachón, an 8,800-foot (2,682-meter) mountain peak in north-central Chilé (30°14′40.7″S 70°44′57.9″W). This video shows how the site looked in March of 2012, as David Walker, a computer programmer in the NOAO-S CISS group and pilot, took a tour in a Cessna 172.  Approaching from the north, David first shows us the SOAR and Gemini-South telescopes, before passing the LSST site, both the "calibration hill" and primary platform.   Initial site preparations took place in March of 2011. The telescope sites are inland and approximately 100 km by road from the support town of La Serena, location of the LSST Base Facility.

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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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