Opening a Window of Discovery on the Dynamic Universe

Data Management System Requirements

The LSST Data Management System (DMS) must 

  • Reliably process unprecedented data volumes
  • Ensure consistent data quality without manual intervention
  • Meet stringent near-real-time transient alerting deadlines
  • Accommodate both scientific and computing technology evolution over at least a decade
  • Serve the LSST data products to a diverse community of users located across several continents.

The LSST DMS is composed of a set of products, each of which is made up of a series of pipelines, a large archive of images, and a number of catalogs containing the detected astronomical sources and resolved astronomical objects. Underneath these are the software middleware and technology infrastructure that permit the visible elements to work securely, reliably, and scalably. The processing and data are distributed across multiple computing centers on the observatory mountaintop, in a base facility near the observatory at La Serena, Chile, at an archive center at the University of Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and multiple Data Access Centers.

The results of a processing run form a data release, which is a static, self-consistent data set for use in performing scientific analysis of LSST data and publication of the results. Periodically, new calibration data products are created, such as bias frames and flat fields (needed to remove sensor "noise" from exposures) that will be used by the other processing functions. All LSST data must be made available through an interface that uses, to the maximum possible extent, community-based standards such as those being developed by the Virtual Observatory.

 
Image Credit: 
Image of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications courtesy NCSA

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). 


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