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.

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.

Testing in Tucson

July 13, 2017 - Critical work has been underway in the lab at LSST’s Project Office in Tucson, AZ: testing of the static supports for LSST’s Primary/Tertiary Mirror (M1M3). When the 8.4-meter mirror is not under active support by the pneumatic actuators, it will rest on an array of wire rope isolators (also referred to as static supports). 355 of these supports will be installed on the mirror cell deck plate. The supports are designed to safely support the mirror under gravity and seismic loading while limiting the motion of the mirror to safe levels.

LSST Asteroid Day Live Videos Now Available

July 7, 2017 - Programming provided by LSST for Asteroid Day Live, a 24-hour broadcast about space and asteroids that aired on June 30, is now available on the LSST YouTube channel. You can also find the LSST videos, along with all the other Asteroid Day Live programming, on the Asteroid Day Live website. Read more about LSST’s participation in Asteroid Day 2017 in this blog post from last week. 

 

 

LSST Celebrates Asteroid Day 2017

June 28, 2017- Again this year, LSST will participate in Asteroid Day, a UN-sanctioned global day to raise awareness about asteroids and in particular how we protect Earth from potential asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day 2017 takes place June 30th and is sponsored by the B612 Foundation, an American-based non-profit organization created to protect the Earth from dangerous asteroids through early detection.

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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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