Ready, Set, SSSC Sprint! – Liveblog

Hello SSSC! Meg has asked me to liveblog the SSSC Sprint today (Tues, 7/10), as we get started. About 20 of us have assembled and we’ve started getting some background from LSST.

John Swinbank, Deputy Project Manager, LSST Data Management
“LSST is not just a telescope, it is an integrated survey system.”

It’s exciting to see LSST coming together physically! John’s showing some good pictures and great updates. For example, the Auxiliary Telescope, the nearby 1.2-m telescope used to help characterize atmospheric absorption, has first light and early data processing happening in the next year (mid 2019).

LSST Camera is the size of a small car: 3.2 gigpixels, 2 second readout, 0.2″ pixels. Focal plane is 63 cm diameter of 189 separate CCDs into 21 3×3 rafts. (Kinda similar to my other favorite, the Kepler Space Telescope!) Each raft is independent. 10 rafts have already been assembled and accepted, all done by January 2019. Rafts can be tested and commissioned independently on telescope, starting mid-2019. Commissioning camera will include science verification surveys, but possibly not (publishable) science.

Data Management (DM) System turns raw data into prompt (e.g. “alert”) and data release data products. 11 Data Releases in 10 years (first one after 6 months). (Note that, at the annual data release, all the prompt products are reproduced, just without alerts.) LSST Science Platform designed to let scientists handle the mountain of data. Includes a portal (queries, etc.), Jupyter-style notebooks to process LSST data yourself, and web API for Data Access Centers based on Virtual Observatory (VO) standards.

All DM code is explicitly open-source and scientists are encouraged to use it. The image processing problem is far more complex than other surveys: many different shapes, blended, etc.

LSE-163 describes all the DM Pipelines and Products. I’m impressed with how well thought out it is.

Current status: none of the pipelines are complete, but many parts of the system are quite usable. Primitives and Algorithms – a rich collection of high-performance tools for working with astronomical data you can pick up and use today. Data Release Processing and Alerts, Alert Distribution – working on test data (Hyper Suprime-Came, DECam, ZTF). Some MOPS is available.

DM also manages the Petascale computing facilities doing data processsing. Science Platform coming together, being used someone.

LSST development and construction is on track and feels like it is accelerating and real!