Rubin Observatory Partners with Google Cloud on Interim Data Facility

Rubin Observatory Partners with Google Cloud on Interim Data Facility

A visual representation of the Rubin Science Platform in use with a background image of the Rosette Nebula

December 7, 2020 - Tucson, AZ and Coquimbo Region, Chile.
Rubin Observatory has finalized a three-year agreement to host its Interim Data Facility (IDF) on Google Cloud. The Rubin IDF will process astronomical data collected by Rubin Observatory in its commissioning phase, and make it available to the Rubin science community in advance of Rubin Observatory’s ten-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). The IDF will allow the Rubin Operations team to become operations-ready and the Rubin science community to be survey-ready when LSST begins in 2023.

The construction of Rubin Observatory is nearing completion, and the Rubin team is now focused on installing and testing various systems to ensure that the science goals of the project will be achieved. The Google Cloud-hosted IDF will initially be used by the Operations team to learn the systems and processes developed by the Rubin Data Management team during construction. Then, beginning in mid 2021, the Rubin Operations team will serve a series of data preview scenarios to the Rubin science community in a modern analysis and tool environment with the IDF.

The robust, stable, and flexible infrastructure provided by the Google Cloud-hosted IDF offers a range of benefits for Rubin during the ramp-up to full science operations. Rubin Data Production team members, about 20 of whom will begin using the IDF right away, can easily deploy systems and access databases on the Cloud, using only the amount of infrastructure they need. The Google Cloud IDF is also scalable in response to usage, which will be critical when members of the Rubin Science Community begin accessing the IDF in late 2021. 

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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