LSST Project News

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LSST received its federal construction start in August of 2014. This website supports the LSST Project Office in its construction of the facility.

Preparing to Light Up the LSST Network

November 12, 2017 - LSST’s fiber-optic network, which will provide the necessary 100Gbps connectivity to move data from the summit of Cerro Pachón to all LSST operational sites and to multiple data centers, came one milestone closer to activation last week; the AURA LSST Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) Network Equipment that LSST will use initially was installed in several key locations. DWDM equipment sends pulses of light down the fiber to transmit data, therefore a DWDM box is needed at each end of a fiber network in order for the network to be operational. In this installation project, the Summit-Base Network DWDM equipment was set up in the La Serena computer room and in the communications hut on the summit of Cerro Pachón.

Surrogate Mirror Installation

November 9, 2017 - At CAID Industries in Tucson, the Surrogate Mirror has now been mounted to the Primary/Tertiary Mirror (M1M3) Cell. This is a significant milestone for both the Surrogate Mirror and for the M1M3 Cell, allowing the start of the next phase of integration: installing the figure actuators.

Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Completes a Milestone Review

October 3, 2017 - LSST is a revolutionary project for a number of reasons, one of which is its commitment to building an Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program as novel and robust as LSST itself. The EPO team (pictured in the accompanying photo) is currently developing the infrastructure for the program to be delivered during operations; this process that is occurring in tandem with the construction of LSST's observational facility and other subsystem components. This long lead time allows for thoughtful and thorough prototyping, testing, and evaluation of EPO products so they'll be ready when LSST Operations begin in 2022.

Totally Science

September 18, 2017 - The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 captivated not just the astronomy community, but the public at large. Many individuals associated with LSST traveled to the path of totality to view the spectacle for themselves and share their knowledge with others. LSST Associate Scientist Keith Bechtol gave a talk to an audience at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in Northeastern Georgia the day before the eclipse. He used the opportunity to deliver an inspiring talk about LSST and the unique opportunities offered by ambitious science projects--even for people who don't think of themselves as scientists.

Mirror Check

August 25, 2017 - LSST’s Primary/Tertiary Mirror (M1M3) has been stored in a metal container at Tucson International Airport since its completion in January, 2015. Earlier this month, an LSST Telescope and Site team visited the storage site to open the container and inspect M1M3 in order to plan and prepare for upcoming hardware and electrical integration activities. The outside of the metal storage container has been inspected regularly since its arrival at the airport, but the container hasn’t been opened since May, 2015!

LSST 2017 Team Photo

August 18, 2017 - LSST 2017 took place this week in Tucson, AZ, bringing together more than 200 of the scientists, engineers, educators, and administrators working hard to make LSST a reality. The LSST team is distributed all over the world; this annual meeting draws a broad group of participants and offers numerous venues—both formal and informal—to share ideas and brainstorm solutions. With LSST Science Operations scheduled to begin in October 2022, LSST 2017 focused on the upcoming integration of hardware and software components across the project, as well as detailed planning for LSST Commissioning.

FREE Public Lecture

The Public is invited to attend a FREE Lecture, Thursday, August 17th, 7pm, at the Westin La Paloma Canyon Ballrooms, 3800 E. Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ. Project Manager Victor Krabbendam and Astronomer Chuck Claver will describe the revolutionary Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) from its motivation and early design to science operations which start in 2022.  Currently under construction in Chile, LSST will survey the entire visible southern sky every few days for a decade – the widest, fastest and deepest view of the night sky ever observed.

Put a Dome on it!

August 4, 2017 – Exciting work took place on calibration hill on Cerro Pachón this week culminating with the Ash Dome being safely lifted onto the Auxiliary Telescope enclosure on August 3rd. LSST Summit Integration Engineer Freddy Muñoz and the LSST summit team first coordinated the assembly of the dome on the ground beside the building. This multi-day process included building a custom spreader bar to position the lifting cables and protect the dome during the lift...

Camera DAQ Installation at NCSA

July 28, 2017 - The recent installation of a Camera Data Acquisition (DAQ) System at NCSA is a major milestone for early integration of Data Management (DM) software with LSST Camera hardware. This single board system, constructed by the camera team at SLAC and intended to read out the camera, was installed in a rack at NCSA last week, connected through a NCSA-provided DAQ Client and Management (Linux) host. The integrated system is currently emulating a camera, acquiring images which can be read out using custom API software. Jim Parsons, NCSA Level 1 System Lead for LSST, worked with SLAC DAQ physicist Gregg Thayer to ensure the DAQ is fully accessible and the software reliable. The complete system will require 14 such boards to read out the full 3.2 Gpix LSST camera.

Taking the Fall for LSST

July 21, 2017 - Technicians, engineers, and scientists who will be working at the LSST facility on Cerro Pachón will often be working “at height,” a term that refers to any workspace four feet or more off the ground. To prepare for their upcoming roles in Assembly Integration Verification (AIV) and Commissioning in Chile, many LSST project employees will be participating in fall protection training courses over the coming year. The first of these courses was offered in late June at safety equipment manufacturer Certex’s facility in Tucson, AZ.

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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).   

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