NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory Launched

NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory Launched

October 1, 2019 - The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) are proud to announce the launch of integrated operations of all of NSF’s nighttime astronomical facilities under NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory. LSST Operations is one of the five facilities included in this new organization.

NSF's OIR Lab provides a fantastic opportunity for staff working on LSST Operations and for LSST’s science community. NSF's OIR Lab provides a strategic framework to share resources with other AURA/NSF Centers to maximize LSST science and make the OIR Lab the world leader in ground based survey science and time domain science. Deeper connections among NSF's OIR Lab's scientists, engineers, and administrative professionals will enable more robust operations, create new opportunities to share and expand on technical and scientific capabilities like follow up networks, and will provide future opportunities for staff growth and development beyond the LSST Survey.

According to Patrick McCarthy, recently selected as Director for NSF's OIR Lab,“Integrating these facilities into one multi-mission center brings together diverse pathways for astronomical exploration, facilitates community coordination, and enables the discoveries of the future. The integrated center will also stimulate new domestic and international collaborations and provide additional opportunities for staff while expanding scientific capabilities and improving the experience for users.”

The full press release announcing the launch of NSF's OIR Lab is available at this link.


Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, 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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