New Year Adds Three More to LSST Team

Travel Administrator Laurie Thomas joined the LSST Project Office (LSSTPO) in January. As Travel Administrator, Laurie is responsible for ensuring all LSSTPO travel complies with federal regulations as well as AURA and LSST policies and procedures. She will help manage a strategic approach to travel by coordinating all staff travel arrangements and by processing all travel expense reports. She is already working with the AURA Procurement Manager to launch a new Concur travel platform that can eventually be shared with other AURA centers. Prior to LSST, Laurie worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) for 15 years, the last eight as Manager for Travel and Meeting Services.

Webcam Offers View of LSST Construction Progress

The Gallery now has a page dedicated to images from a recently reactivated webcam with a view of the LSST site on the Cerro Pachon summit. The images provide a window onto the summit facilities' construction progress. The web page image refreshes every minute; also available are time lapse animations - one with a series of images captured at hourly intervals and one with each image captured at the one-minute interval. The webcam Gallery page is here:


Subscale Refrigeration System Testing Successful

Testing of a subscale LSST Camera refrigeration system at SLAC has demonstrated the ability to run reliably for extended periods at consistent, acceptable temperature and power use. During study periods of typically 10 days, the system has run reliably at approximately -128 degrees Celsius with a total load of about 87.5 Watts. The subscale test began in June 2014 in order to simulate more realistic camera geometry and operations.

LSST Site Transferred to Summit Facility Contractor

LSST Summit Facility general contractor, Besalco, has officially taken possession of the Cerro Pachon site in order to begin the construction effort. Going forward, the LSST site now is an active construction site with all of the consequent safety rules and restrictions in effect. In particular, access to the site by project person now must be pre-approved by Besalco. The official handover document was signed by AURA and Besalco representatives on January 5. Since the handover, Besalco and Rocterra staff have received orientation and accreditation, and both parties’ administrative offices have mobilized to the summit. Physical movement of earth by excavation contractor Rocterra on the telescope platform begins today, January 16.

LSST Camera Receives Funding Approval

January 9, 2015 - The LSST project has achieved another significant milestone. The baseline for fabrication of the 3,200 megapixel digital camera has received key “Critical Decision 2” approval from the DOE. The LSST team can now move forward with the development of the camera and prepare for the “Critical Decision 3” review process this summer, the last requirement before actual fabrication of the camera can begin.

Happy Holidays

December 19, 2014 - Dear Colleagues, 2014 has been an exciting year for LSST with or federal construction start underway at last. Thank you for your contributions to that success and best wishes for the New Year. Happy Holidays. (Estimados colegas, Este ha sido un año emocionante para LSST con nuestra construcción federal en marcha al fin.  Gracias por sus contribuciones para realizar este éxito y los mejores deseos para el Año Nuevo.  ¡Felices Fiestas!)

Steve Kahn, LSST Director

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

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.



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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