A Tight Fit

August 9 - Imagine you’re driving a ridiculously expensive sports car, and you have to park it in a space so tight there’s only an inch of clearance between you and the cars on either side, which, incidentally, are also ridiculously expensive sports cars. Feel the pressure? The Integration and Testing (I&T) Group at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory know this pressure well; they’re currently facing a comparable challenge as they work to integrate the 21 science rafts and the four corner rafts into the LSST Camera cryostat grid.

Focus Group Helps EPO Set Direction

July 27, 2018 - The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team hosted a teacher focus group in Tucson on July 16-18. This was the second in a series of events to collect feedback from educators about the formal education products being developed by the EPO team. Twelve teachers with students in advanced-middle school through college attended the focus group; their comments and survey results will inform the EPO team as they continue to refine the online resources provided for teachers during LSST Operations.

Filter Exchange Progress in Paris

July 16, 2018 - In Paris, France, the Filter-Exchange team is currently performing combined testing of the prototype filter exchange components at the Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Energies (LPNHE). The filter exchange is the result of the collaborative work of five French IN2P3/CNRS laboratories.

Opportunity for young researchers to comment on Astro2020 Process

Dear Colleagues:

I would like to call the attention of our more junior colleagues to the opportunity to provide input to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey process, described at the following link:

The deadline for applying for this opportunity is July 16.

As you know, the number one ranking that LSST received in the last decadal survey was crucial to our Project getting approved by both NSF and DOE. Your experience working on LSST will probably be of interest to the Astro2020 committee, and I believe they will be responsive to any comments you may have. I encourage you to apply.

Steve Kahn


July 2, 2018 – LSST@Europe3 drew approximately 150 participants to Lyon, France on June 11-15 for presentations, tours, and informal opportunities for networking between members of the LSST Project and the European science community. Zeljko Ivezic, LSST Project Scientist and co-chair of the meeting’s Scientific Organizing Committee, enthusiastically noted the high level of participation from younger scientists at this meeting, an indication that excitement for LSST is building among those just beginning their science careers.


June 21, 2018 – Last week’s SPIE meeting on Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation in Austin, TX, gave LSST team members a chance to share exciting construction progress and learn from colleagues working on other projects and related technologies.  Over the six-day meeting, there were 20 LSST-authored posters, 16 oral presentations plus 2 invited talks, one on LSST Construction Status (V. Krabbendam) and another on the LSST Science Platform (F. Economou).  Deputy Director Beth Willman’s plenary talk on LSST Construction Progress and Scientific Opportunities is available here.  

Cryostat Testing in Tucson

May 21, 2018 - The Auxiliary Telescope for LSST has arrived safely on the summit of Cerro Pachon, and its heaviest parts have been lifted into its enclosure building by crane. Meanwhile, in Tucson, preparations are being made for the assembly and testing of the calibration equipment that will be mounted on the Auxiliary Telescope (AT) in order to measure atmospheric transmission during LSST operations (as described in this recent news item). In early May, twenty-three shipping boxes containing the cryostat and associated peripherals arrived at the Project Office workshop in Tucson. The cryostat contains the sensor that will be used to image spectra from the AT’s spectrograph.

Getting Connected on the Summit

May 14, 2018 - A major milestone has been reported from Cerro Pachón: installation of the first summit network equipment took place at the beginning of May. After readying the summit computer room, which included ensuring the space was appropriately clean and temperature-controlled, the IT team began installing servers in this space, which will serve as the central hub of communications on Cerro Pachón.

TMA Safety Review

May 4, 2018 - An LSST team spent 5 days in Spain last month conducting a thorough safety review of the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) at the facility of vendor Asturfeito. LSST Safety Manager Chuck Gessner, Telescope and Site Technical Manager Shawn Callahan, Senior Systems Engineer Austin Roberts, and Lead Electrical Engineer Oliver Wiecha inspected the numerous safety features included in the TMA, and reviewed the procedures by which the group of vendors responsible for building the TMA (referred to as UTE) will verify that the hazard mitigations meet LSST requirements.

A Path to Success

April 26, 2018 – An LSST cross-project team met at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) earlier this month to conduct the latest in a series of Early Integration Pathfinder Activities. This activity focused on simulated control and image collection for the nominal Auxiliary Telescope visit sequence. The exercise was the culmination of intense effort from a distributed group of LSST project members, and it offered the opportunity for participants representing different subsystems to align expectations, resolve issues, and determine priorities for next steps.


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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