Blogs

K-T Lim Appointed DM Project Engineer

K-T Lim has been appointed to the newly-created position of Data Management (DM) Project Engineer. He will be responsible for making sure the DM software is built properly, including its design, architecture, plans, and development processes. He will be the primary point of contact for any technical issues having to do with the DM subsystem. This position is at the same level as the DM Project Manager (Jeff Kantor) and DM Project Scientist (Mario Juric). K-T will continue to act as the DM System Architect, where he will be assisted by Tim Jenness, the recently-hired Deputy DM System Architect. This change in management structure will ensure that DM has strong leadership in all areas as the Construction Phase moves forward.

Telescope and Site Team Adds Optics Engineer

Constanza Araujo joined LSST May 7 as the Telescope and Site Optics Engineer. Constanza will perform broad optical engineering analysis, provide technical support to the M2 Cell Assembly effort with Exelis, support the Calibration system design, and assist with development of integration and test procedures for initial telescope commissioning. She comes to LSST most recently from working at Gemini-South, where she was responsible for the multi-conjugate adaptive optics system, Flamingos-2, and the Acquisition and Guidance Unit. Constanza is based in Tucson; her office is in the LSST wing of 950 N. Cherry Avenue. Her room number, phone number and email address can be found in the LSST Contacts database. Welcome, Constanza.

Three Joined LSST Team April 20

Three new staff members joined LSST Monday April 20, 2015. Dr. Sandrine Thomas joined LSST as Telescope and Site Project Scientist. Dr. Patrick Ingraham joined LSST as Calibration Hardware Scientist. Libby Petrick joined LSST as an Administrative Coordinator. All three have their offices in the LSST wing of the NOAO building.

Dr. Beth Willman Named LSST Deputy Director

Dr. Beth Willman has accepted the position of Deputy Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). She will perform this role as an Associate Astronomer at the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona. Her appointment will become effective September 1, 2015.

Dr. Willman received her B.A. in astrophysics at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Washington. She has been a James Arthur Fellow at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics at New York University, and a Clay Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Since 2008 she has been a professor of Astronomy at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

Chile-U.S. Astronomy Education Summit

LSST Manager for EPO Suzanne Jacoby participated in the first Chile-U.S. Astronomy Education Summit the week of March 21, 2015.  Organized by Associated Universities Inc. (AUI), Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Carnegie Institution for Science, the United States Embassy in Chile, and CONICYT, the summit took place at various locations throughout Chile.  A travelling team of 35 astronomy education and outreach experts from Chile and the United States met with educators, administrators...

Welcome Tim Jenness

Tim Jenness joined the LSST Data Management group March 23 as Deputy System Architect. Tim will assist in all aspects of the DM system architecture, including refining the baseline design approved at Final Design Review (FDR) into the as-built design, doing "skunk works" rapid prototyping and evaluation projects, and helping institute good development processes. He brings a wealth of experience in large-scale processing systems and astronomical software in particular, and his ability to grasp the big picture while worrying the small details will be of great use. Prior to LSST, Tim was head of software for the CCAT telescope, and before that he was head of the scientific computing group for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope.

The LSST-French Connection: Signed and Tweeted!

As announced on French social media, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope has formalized its scientific and technical collaboration with the French with a pair of signed agreements. On March 5, 2015, representatives from the Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the LSST Corporation (LSSTC), SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the LSST Project Office (LSSTPO), and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, met in Paris, France to sign two agreements solidifying partnerships related to the construction, operations, and exploitation of the LSST. 

LSST M1M3 Successful Mirror Lift

In a carefully executed multi-day procedure, the LSST primary/tertiary (M1M3) mirror was successfully placed in its storage container at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The operation went flawlessly and now the $20 million mirror substrate waits for transfer to a temporary storage facility in Tucson where the LSST team will conduct additional integrated testing before final shipment to Chile in the coming years.

LSST Mirror Turns Blue

It’s not the frigid cold temperatures being experienced by much of the county this week, but rather a thin coating of polyethylene that has turned the LSST primary/tertiary mirror (M1M3) a vibrant shade of blue. This coating has been applied to protect the mirror as it is prepared for delivery and final acceptance. Formal delivery is expected in early April when the LSST Project will take responsibility for the mirror in its shipping container and move it to a secure facility for storage. The mirror is expected to remain in storage for approximately two years until the operational mirror support cell is fabricated, at which time the mirror and mirror cell can be integrated and tested before being shipped to Chile.

BNL Demonstrates First Successful Operation of a Test Camera

In early February, a team working on the LSST Camera project at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) demonstrated the first successful operation of a test camera using a "vertical slice" of the final camera sensors and electronics. The test assembly contained prototype CCDs and one 48-channel raft electronic board, all housed in a developmental model of the Commissioning Camera cryostat. The raft sensor assembly was set at -100C, and the electronics sink was set at -10C. Using a variety of optical and electronic stimuli, the team found all 48 channels reading out and meeting critical performance specifications for noise, crosstalk and linearity.

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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.
NSF and DOE will continue to support LSST in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.


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