rubinann17004 — Announcement

Rubin Digest 03 February 2017

3 February 2017

Project News

The AURA Management Council for LSST (AMCL) met this week in Tucson.  The AMCL meets three times a year, and is AURA's oversight and advocacy committee for LSST.  Steve Kahn, Beth Willman, Victor Krabbendam, and Chuck Claver presented on topics related to LSST construction progress, commissioning planning, and operations planning.

LSST Systems Engineers Kathryn Wesson and Brian Selvy attended the NASA JPL Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Symposium and Workshop and then the 2017 INCOSE International Workshop last week.   They had the opportunity to collaborate with systems engineers from NASA JPLTMT, and GMT, and were able to interact with vendors of software tools used by LSST such as MagicDraw and Syndeia.  The systems engineers from GMT, TMT, and LSST agreed to continue collaborating on developing modeling capabilities of mutual benefit to all projects, with the long term goal of developing a reference model for large, ground based optical telescopes.  This longer term goal has sparked interest from senior leadership at the Object Management Group (OMG) – the standards organization in this area.

In Optics news, production of the camera lenses is well underway at Arizona Optical Systems.  The current status is as follows: The L2 Surface 2 polishing and initial figuring is complete.  Grinding of L2 Surface 1 begins next week.  Similarly, the L1 Surface 2 polishing and initial figuring is complete with grinding of L1 Surface 1 beginning next week. All in on schedule for the Optics Test Readiness Review set for February 28.

UW Postdoc Meredith Rawls was one of the Top 10 competitors in last week's Science Communication Contest held as part of Science Talk Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Contestants had three minutes to present their research or a related topic for a broad, non-scientific audience. Meredith's talk presented a brief overview of the scale, scope, and software behind LSST. The conference brought together a variety of scientists, science communicators, journalists, and students to learn about and practice effective science communication. A rough transcript of Meredith's presentation is available on her personal blog here, and a video will be added at the same link once it is available from conference organizers.

Construction is progressing quickly on Cerro Pachón, not only on the main LSST Facility Building but also on the concrete foundation for the Auxiliary Telescope.  This smaller telescope will measure atmospheric conditions at the site, information necessary to calibrate the LSST data throughout the survey.  [Read More]

Corporation News

At the February 3rd Meeting of the LSSTC Board, seven new International Contributors (IC) were admitted, bringing the total number of ICs to 30, representing 20 different countries.   An LSSTC IC agrees to share in the annual operating costs of the LSST in exchange for data rights during operations and commissioning.  The newest International Contributors are:

  • National Center for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) [Poland]
  • Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University (SU ASTRONOMY) [Sweden]
  • Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie de Universität Heidelberg (ARI/ZAH) [Germany]
  • Instrumentcenter for Danish Astrophysics And Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University (AU) and Neils Bohr Institute (NBI) [Denmark]
  • Observatorio Astronómico de Córdoba (OAC) Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) and the Instituto de Astronomica Teórica y Experimental (IATE) UNC – CONICET (OAC-IATE) [Argentina]
  • Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP) [Germany]
  • Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) [Germany]

Personnel News

Krzystof (Chris) Suberlak joined the LSST science verification group at the University of Washington (UW). Chris is a graduate student at UW and will work with Mario Juric, Zeljko Ivezic and the Science User Interface team at IPAC on the characterization of the functionality of a prototype Data Access Center (PDAC). Chris is experienced with SDSS Stripe 82 data that is made available via PDAC, and will repeat some of his previous analysis work using PDAC tools.

Joachim Moeyens has also joined the LSST DM group at the University of Washington (UW).  Joachim is a graduate student at UW and will work with Lynne Jones, Mario Juric, and others on improvements to the Moving Objects Processing Software. Joachim has already contributed to the recent paper on LSST capability for discovering near-Earth asteroids (LSST PUB-39).

Dr. Eric Bellm has joined LSST as the Level 1 Science Lead for Data Management, starting February 1, 2017. He will join the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington as a Research Professor.  Eric is presently the Project Scientist for the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) project at Caltech. Eric's research interests span a number of topics, including compact binaries and GRBs. His extensive background in time domain surveys as well as instrumentation will make a tremendous addition to an already strong team at UW and LSST.

Tim Morton has joined the LSST Data Management team as part of the Data Release Production group based in Princeton.  He will contribute to the development and testing of the LSST science pipelines. Before joining LSST, Tim was an Associate Research Scholar at Princeton, working on exoplanet demographics using the Kepler spacecraft. Tim was lead author of the May 2016 paper describing the detection of 1,284 new planets with Kepler, the largest single announcement of planets to date.  [NASA Press Release]  

Upcoming Meetings with LSST Involvement

(those with asterisk* are LSSTC funded):


February 2 – 3: AURA Management Council for LSST (AMCL) Meeting, Tucson, AZ

February 13 - 17: DESC Meeting, Dark Energy School, and Hack Day*, SLAC National Accelerator Lab

February 27 – March 2:  Detecting the Unexpected: Discovery in the Era of Astronomically Big Data*, Location TDB

March 6 - 8: LSST Joint Technical Meeting, Glendale, CA

March 13 - 15: Blind Analysis in High-Stakes Survey Science: When, Why, and How? *SLAC; Menlo Park, CA

March 20 – 23: ASTRO: Time Series Analysis for Synoptic Surveys and Gravitational Wave Astronomy, International Center for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), Bengaluru, India

April 3 - 5: LSSTC F2F Board Meeting and Hill Visits, Washington, DC

April  6 & 7: AURA Management Council for LSST (AMCL) Meeting, Washington, DC

April 3-7: LSST DESC Hack Week *, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

May 1 – 3: NSF Large Facilities Workshop, Baton Rouge and Livingston, LA

May 1 – 5: AURA Board and Member Representatives Annual Meeting, Tucson, AZ

May 22 – 25: Infrastructure for Time Domain Science in the Era of LSST, Tucson, AZ

May 31 - June 2: Supernovae:  The LSST Revolution Workshop *, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

June 12 – 16: Getting Ready for Doing Science with LSST Data,* IN2P3 Computing Center, Lyon, France

July 10 - 14: DESC Meeting, Dark Energy School, and Hack Day*, Brookhaven National Lab

August 14 – 18: LSST 2017 Project & Community Workshop, Tucson, AZ

November 7 – 9: AURA Workforce & Diversity Committee, La Serena, Chile

About the Announcement



Logo: Vera C. Rubin Observatory
Logo: Vera C. Rubin Observatory