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.

M1M3 Mirror Cell Progress

February 25, 2016 - Since its completion in January 2015, the LSST M1M3 mirror has been in storage in Tucson awaiting completion of the mirror cell.  When the cell is complete, it will be joined to the M1M3 mirror for additional testing at the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab.  The two pieces will ship separately to Chile and then be reunited for the duration of the LSST ten-year survey from Cerro Pachon.

LIGO & LSST - Catching the Wave

February 19, 2016 – As part of last week's announcement that LIGO has directly detected gravitational waves emitted by a pair of merging black holes, the LIGO collaboration has released a map showing the probable location of the wave’s origin.  In anticipation of future gravitational-wave detections of merging compact objects involving neutron stars, we can hope to spot such events as visible lights sources accompanying gravitational-wave emission.

LSST Altitude Adjustment

Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) subcontractor Asturfeito in Spain has begun to produce the circular steel tracks for the elevation hydrostatic bearings.  Project Manager Francisco Romero is shown here standing on the material used for the azimuth bearing track assembly with the circular tracks that support the elevation bearings to his left.  Two tracks will be stacked on each side of the telescope in the central structure to support the elevation trunnion bearings.  To Francisco’s right, note the plasma cutter’s glowing arc as it is used to cut steel plates for additional azimuth track sectors. 

Fiber Optic Data Links Agreements

February 5, 2016 - In Chile, dedicated fiber-optic lines will connect the Cerro Pachón summit and base site in La Serena, but additional networks are required to provide 100Gbs connectivity LSST requires from La Serena to Santiago and onwards to the USA. As part of a larger effort to improve network redundancy and connectivity, the National University Network (REUNA) is leveraging an initiative by the three major telecommunications providers in Chile to provide fiber-optic links up the Elqui Valley, which adjoins the AURA property on which LSST is being built.

TMA and Tapas

January 29, 2016 - Eleven members of the LSST Telescope and Site and Project Office have been in Madrid, Spain, this week participating in a successful Final Design Review of the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) with prime contractor Empresarios Agrupados (EA). The panel members evaluated EA’s design and sub-contractor efforts, reviewing design conformance and assessing risk to advancing the key components into...

Celebrating Safety

January 22, 2016 - To mark the first year of construction activities on Cerro El Peñon, General Manager of Besalco Construcciones, Mr. Guillermo Garcia, was presented with a letter of appreciation from LSST Project Manager Victor Krabbendam and gave recognition to his employees for the excellent work done and emphasis on safety in this first year.  Victor wrote:

“Piering” down on LSST Construction

January 12, 2016 - A DJI Phantom 3 Pro Drone is being used on Cerro Pachón to monitor LSST construction progress from a birds-eye view.  Multiple images will be used to generate a 3D model of the Summit Facility, suitable for inspection via virtual reality.  In these initial images taken by Systems Engineer Jacques Sebag on January 8, 2016, preparation of the telescope pier is clearly visible.


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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