Successful Database Architecture Review

August 30, 2013

The sign on Jeff Kantor's door says it all. In preparation for the upcoming October Final Design Review, LSST has had 14 external reviews in the past 12 weeks with another 5 reviews scheduled for the next six weeks. The most recent of these reviews, the LSST Data Management Database Architecture Review, took place August 6-7 at SLAC with a very favorable outcome. This review examined the current LSST database design, including its distributed/parallel architecture, partitioning, indexing, fault tolerance, data distribution, and schema evolution as well as the physical schema. Reviewers concluded the database architecture is technically appropriate for the project's requirements and feasible in the time and budget available.

Joint Technical Meeting Group Photo

Wednesday August 14, 2013 - More than 80 LSST team members attended the Joint Technical Meeting this week at the Omni Tucson National Resort. The August 12-15 workshop brings together the distributed team of managers, scientists, and engineers who contribute to the programmatic, design, and technical work of the LSST Project. In particular, the team is tackling interfaces and other cross-subsystem topics in preparation for the National Science Foundation Final Design Review in October. The agenda also includes external reviews of Image Simulation and the Safety Program later in the week. Here, the team poses for a group photo at the edge of the Omni golf course on Tuesday afternoon. Click the image for a larger view.

M2 Optical Fabrication Contract Awarded to ITT Exelis

July 12, 2013 -- ITT Exelis has been awarded the optical fabrication contract for LSST’s 3.5m secondary mirror assembly ( The two-phase contract was awarded by AURA on behalf of the LSST project. The first phase supports vendor-specific engineering design activities targeted at risk reduction. The second phase includes the optical fabrication, testing, and integration of the finished mirror into the LSST-supplied M2 cell assembly.

LSST Mirror Status - Thinking Outside/Inside the Box

The unique LSST M1/M3 mirror surfaces are nearing perfection. Both mirror surfaces are being carefully polished and optically tested with completion anticipated by the end of December 2013. Testing has transitioned from the realm of mechanical measurement to optical measurement as the remaining deviations from the mirror’s perfect smooth shape are now on the scale of nanometers instead of microns.

DM Awarded XSEDE Computing Resource Allocation

Friday June 21, 2013 - LSST Data Management was awarded a computing resource allocation from the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) in June 2013.  This award of 530,000 compute service units and 148 terabytes of storage is a renewal of previous awards that LSST has been granted by XSEDE.  It allows DM to continue the larger scale runs associated with the sequence of Data Challenges and large-scale middleware and infrastructure tests that are necessary in preparation for the Construction phase of LSST.  This allocation will be in effect for the period fr

Final Design Review - Save the Date

The Final Design Review (FDR) for the LSST project has been scheduled for the week of October 21, 2013 in Tucson, Arizona.  This review must be completed successfully before the National Science Foundation (NSF) can release funds to start construction.  And, of course, Congress also must appropriate the funds before the NSF can release them.  We’re expecting a review format and schedule (Monday noon to Friday noon) much like the August 2011 NSF Preliminary Design Review. Project personnel are holding the week of 21 October and working to complete all materials and presentations for this review two weeks in advance.

Inaugural Meeting of LSST@Illinois

LSST Institutional Members from Illinois met at Argonne National Laboratory on May 30 for the inaugural meeting of LSST@Illinois.  Organized by Salman Habib, the meeting was attended by about 40 individuals from Adler Planetarium, Argonne, Fermilab, University of Illinois/NCSA and Northwestern University.  Many in the group "bonded" previously at a Washington, DC LSST Board Meeting and decided to continue their discussion of current projects, what each institution would individually like to get out of LSST, and how they can work together to help LSST@Illinois as well a

LSST in the Congressional Record

May 17, 2013:  Watch the CSPAN video of U.S. Representative Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) voicing support for LSST on the House floor (

LSST Represents AAS in May 2013 CNSF Exhibit

May 10, 2013

LSST exhibited at the 19th Annual Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) reception in the Rayburn House Office Building on May 7, 2013. The American Astronomical Society is a member of CNSF and sponsored LSST to participate in this year’s event with the theme: Investments in STEM Research and Education: Fueling American Innovation.

Chuck Claver Receives AURA Technology / Innovation Award

AURA announced LSST Systems Scientist Chuck Claver as one of the 2013 recipients of its Technology / Innovation Award (see He is being recognized for his outstanding contribution to LSST as Project Systems Engineer over the previous five years. For the complete story, visit     




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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