rubinann20008 — Announcement

Rubin Digest 05 May 2020

5 May 2020

Project & Science News

Closures are still in effect for key Rubin Observatory locations, including the summit construction site. However, in compliance with local regulations, the Rubin team has been able to keep up with some essential activities to ensure our sites are secure. These activities are being completed with safety of staff members as the first priority. In parallel, the Project leadership team is working on plans to restart construction activities safely and in a phased way once it is deemed safe to do so. The plans will focus on priority technical areas but will also comply with government orders as well as health and safety department guidelines. All efforts will be coordinated with AURA and SLAC for an organized and safe return to construction. Updated information on details related to the COVID-19 pandemic and answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found at this link.  

An NSF/DOE Quarterly Review of the Rubin Observatory Construction Project took place virtually last week. The review panel was impressed with the amount of work completed this quarter despite the challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Agency representatives and Project leadership also had a productive discussion about development of the plan for re-baselining the Project once construction activities can safely resume. 

The Rubin Observatory Commissioning Camera (ComCam) integration structure, which traveled to Chile by ship while the rest of ComCam went by air, arrived safely last week and was transported to the summit facility building. At the AURA Base Facility in La Serena, Systems Engineering team member Brian Stalder led the effort to get ComCam set up and functioning in a temporary instrument lab. Read more about ComCam progress in this recent news item, and view photos in the Gallery.

A third summit inspection occurred on April 28th (see photos). Like previous inspections, all social distancing and strict safety measures were adhered to, and this trip also uncovered no major issues. The team on this visit included Hernán Hererra, Dome technical lead for Rubin Observatory, and a technician from the Italian Dome vendor (EIE), Fabio Serafin, who lives in Chile. They used the mobile crane to access the Dome roof and upper shutter for a full inspection and carried out several maintenance tasks. The following day, another small team went to the summit to inspect and test elements of the Coating Chamber. Next week a summit trip is planned to receive and unload a container with more Dome cladding, which is the last shipment that was in transit when the international restrictions went into effect. Another upcoming planned visit will target electrical maintenance tasks. As winter weather approaches, more visits will likely be necessary to keep everything well maintained.

Operations Updates

On April 22, 2020, The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced to the Rubin Observatory Operations team that DOE, in coordination with the National Science Foundation (NSF), will put out a Financial Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the US Data Facility (USDF) for Rubin Observatory Operations. During operations, the USDF will operate and maintain the systems which are being developed during construction to produce and provide Rubin Observatory scientific data products to its community. More details about the FOA process can be found at this link

LSST Corporation News

LSST Corp welcomes Kim-Anne Briamonte as the new Executive Assistant to Executive Officer, Pat Eliason. While Kim has spent the last eight years in the legal world, she joins the team with over 16 years of experience in grant administration, program management, and policy development. Kim is succeeding Linden Hickey in this role; Linden is now the Executive Assistant to the Director of NOIRLab. Congratulations to them both!

Personnel Announcements

David Cabrera began work as Documentation Specialist with the Systems Engineering (SE) subsystem on May 4th. David will assist the SE team with definition, development, and implementation of the organization and review process for the Rubin Observatory technical data package for construction and commissioning. 

Sam Quist joined the Data Management (DM) subsystem in the role of Documentation Engineer on April 21st. Sam is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington (UW) who will be temporarily working as a member of the DM team on software documentation.

Upcoming Meetings with Rubin Observatory Involvement

(those with asterisk* are LSSTC funded):


May 27-28: AURA Management Council for Rubin Construction (AMCR) Meeting, Virtual

June 1-3: Supermassive Black Hole Studies with the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), virtual meeting as part of AAS236

July 20-24: LSST DESC Meeting, Virtual

July 21-24: Joint Directors Review (JDR) Tucson, AZ

August 10-14: Rubin Observatory Project and Community Workshop 2020, Virtual

Aug 31-Sept 3: Joint Status Review, Menlo Park, CA

Sept 1-3: NSF Large Facilities Workshop, Alexandria, VA

Sept 23-24: AURA Management Council for Rubin Construction (AMCR) Meeting, Boston, MA

December 13-18: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation Conference, San Diego, CA

About the Announcement



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