Opening a Window of Discovery on the Dynamic Universe

Data Products


The LSST data products are organized into three main categories.

  • Prompt data products: are generated continuously every observing night, including both alerts to objects that have changed brightness or position, which are released with 60-second latency, source catalogs derived from difference images — including orbital parameters for solar system objects — and image data products that are released with 24-hour latency. Previously referred to as "Level 1" data products.
  • Data Release data products: will be made available annually as the result of coherent processings of the entire science data set to date. These will include calibrated images; measurements of positions, fluxes, and shapes; variability information; and an appropriate compact description of light curves. The Data Release data products will include a uniform reprocessing of the difference-imaging-based Prompt data products. Previously referred to as "Level 2" data products.
  • User Generated data products: will originate from the community, including project teams. These will be created and stored using suitable Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that will be provided by the LSST Data Management System. The system will allow the science teams to use the full power of the LSST database systems and Science Platform for the storage, access, and analysis of their results. It will provide for users and groups to maintain access control over the data products they create, enabling them to have limited distribution or to be shared with the entire LSST community. The Data Management System will provide at least 10% of its total capacity for User Generated data product storage and user-dedicated processing. Previously referred to as "Level 3" data products.

LSST Data Product Categories (LPM-231)

The data management system must:

1) Process the incoming stream of images generated by the camera system during observing to generate and archive the nightly data products:

  • Raw science images
  • Catalog of variable sources
  • Transient alerts.

2) Periodically process accumulated nightly data products to:

  • Generate co-added images of several types
  • Optimally measure the properties of fainter objects
  • Perform astrometric and photometric calibration of the full survey object catalog
  • Classify objects based on both their static properties and time-dependent behavior.
Image Credit: 
LSST Project Office

Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, 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 LSST 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 LSST camera 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.   

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