LSST ILCs – the New Gold Standard!

The first set of 24 custom electronics units built by the Telescope & Site group is complete.  Inner Loop Controllers (ILC) are components which measure and control forces with the mirror actuators, shaping the mirror to preserve its precise curvature at different sky positions.  This first shipment of ILC units will be integrated with the LSST secondary mirror cell at Harris Corporation, in Rochester, NY.

The secondary mirror has a total of 72 ILCs configured for controlling the axial actuators, an additional 6 ILCs configured for controlling the tangent links, and 6 more ILCs configured for sensor data acquisition (elevation angle, displacement, and temperature).

Twin Piers for LSST

June 3, 2016 - Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) subcontractor Asturfeito continues to build the LSST telescope pier in their facility in Spain; this duplicate pier will be used to support the trial assembly and testing of the TMA.  LSST Telescope Technical Manager Shawn Callahan explains the pier construction process shown in the image:

LSST M1M3 Mirror Cell Weldment Ready for Oven!

May 27, 2016 - The 9-meter x 9-meter x 2-meter M1M3 mirror cell weldment, fabricated by CAID Industries, Inc. in Tucson, AZ, is now being prepared for immersion in a large oven for thermal stress relief. The oven is 32 ft x 32 ft x 12 ft and will ramp up at 100deg/hr until it reaches 1150deg. Then the mirror cell is soaked for 8 hours at 1150deg before cooling at 200deg/hr down to 600 deg. From there it’s left to cool naturally. This process starts on June 9th. Final machining is next to prepare the cell for mirror support integration in early 2017. Great progress!

DMLT Meeting

May 20, 2016 - Members of the Data Management Leadership Team (DMLT) gathered in Tucson Monday through Thursday of this week for their quarterly face-to-face meeting.  This group is collectively responsible for the stewardship of the DM construction plan and the coordination of the internal DM working groups as they execute it.  Discussion focused on progress since the February Joint Technical Review, priorities for the upcoming software release in the fall, and modifications to the DM baseline plan that reflect recent restructuring within the team.  Most of the DMLT remained in Tucson through Friday to continue working in smaller groups and to discuss topics related to the science pipeline.

Telescope and Site Welcomes Summit Integration Engineer

The Telescope and Site team would like to welcome Freddy Muñoz to the La Serena office as he transitions into the role of Summit Integration Engineer. Freddy will be responsible for coordination of the various subsystems to be delivered to the site, especially the vertical reciprocating lift system, the lower enclosure pier interface with the Dome, the pier interface with the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) system, the delivery of the Coating Plant system, and the delivery of the TMA. Freddy has a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of La Serena and has worked the last three years for CTIO upgrading the 4-meter Blanco telescope after leading successfully the Dark Energy Camera integration and installation on the telescope in 2012.


Maximizing Science in the Era of LSST: A Community-based Study of Needed US OIR Capabilities

Over forty participations attended a three day workshop on the O/IR Capabilities Needed to Maximize LSST science at Biosphere 2, May 2nd- 4th. This workshop was sponsored by the Kavli Foundation and endorsed by NSF AST. Joan Najita (NOAO) and Beth Willman chaired the workshop and related study (

Hexapod and Rotator I&T Plan Review

Members of the Telescope team traveled to the Moog/CSA Engineering facility in Mountain View, CA to conduct the Integration and Test Plan Review for the hexapod and rotator system contract. Major pieces of the hexapod actuator assembly are shown on the cart to the left, with sections of the curved linear guides for the camera rotator in their shipping crate from THK/Japan. CSA will begin to assemble and test the actuators this fall in CA, with integrated hexapod and rotator system testing to be performed in their CO office beginning in early 2017.

Coating Plant Kickoff Meeting

April 8, 2016 - Members of the LSST Telescope & Site and Project Office teams participated in the kickoff meeting for the LSST Coating Plant at the Von Ardenne GmbH facility in Dresden, Germany on April 5th. Von Ardenne is responsible for the final design and fabrication of the coating chamber (pumping system, rotating magnetrons, steel vacuum vessels) and the washing/stripping station to enable coating of the M1M3 Cell Assembly and the M2 mirror on the LSST summit. This 30-month effort will conclude with onsite final acceptance in mid-2018.

LSST & AstroPy Synergy

March 29, 2016 - Following the Python in Astronomy 2016 meeting held last week in Seattle, over the weekend of March 26th/27th members of LSST Data Management met with people from the AstroPy community to discuss areas of overlap and synergy between the two projects. Topics for the meeting included coordinates handling, packaging and distribution, table interoperability, sky regions and masking, world coordinate systems and representation of data objects. The meeting was very positive and we are working on a report proposing how LSST and AstroPy should improve interoperability and code sharing.

Image: LSST-AstroPy Meeting at UW, March, 2016. Credit: M. Juric, LSST/UW

Tracking Progress on Cerro Pachón

March 4, 2016 - The construction crew on Cerro Pachón is making room for a shipment of 16 sections of steel track (embedded plates) which will sit on top of the lower enclosure pier and support the wheels that rotate the dome structure. The “lower enclosure” pier is the exterior pier (its excavation effort is almost done…see the trough in the accompanying image). The Telescope Mount Assembly (inner) pier is the one that just got poured during the recent all day/all night effort.  The vertical rebar is the soon to be concrete cylinder which will go up almost 15 meters.


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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