Monthly Updates

Construction Project Status

For the period of performance January 1-31, 2023

(updated March 13, 2023)

The Project had different levels of progress across the systems this month. Activities on the summit started up in the new-year with good general progress; however, some additional delays with the telescope mount were recognized this month from both prior and emerging issues. The Camera remains safely in the SLAC IR2 clean room, but without power to that facility, there was no progress with the direct work on the camera. The Data Management  team achieved a system upgrade to the data butler query system, and night operations restarted with early commissioning objectives and progress. 

Project earned value toward the MREFC effort rose $2.8 million this month to a calculated $471.0 million. The cost variance changed $0.7 million this month to -$0.0 million, and the cost performance index held at 1.0. The schedule variance changed by -$0.7 million to $8.9 million, which equates to a schedule performance index of 0.98. Eight project controls change requests (LCRs) were implemented this month, requesting a total of $488,544 from contingency. As of the end of the month, the project has allocated 70% of the total contingency to the baseline through the change control process. The remaining contingency of $25.1 million is 56% of (TPCII  -BAC -CV)/(EACII -ACWP ).

(ETC = Estimate to completion, BAC = Budget at completion, BCWP = Budgeted cost of work performed).

Frequent updates can be found on our Blog posts and Digest. A Day in The Life of LSST may also be of interest.

Select Milestones

During January the team focused on telescope mount testing technical issues. Several software issues were successfully addressed, but other software and electronics failures combined to extend the forecast finish of telescope substantial completion by six weeks. Alternate strategies and various refinements for the work between the telescope substantial completion and the Camera arrival allowed the total impact to First light to be limited to four days. The camera delivery and the telescope work in preparation for the camera continue to compete for the critical path within days of each other.

Updated with post Covid replan dates pending agency approval

The table shows forecast dates, i.e., the Project’s current best estimate. There is, in addition, schedule contingency that is not included in those dates, amounting to about 6 weeks at present. It is likely that the Project will use most or all of that schedule contingency. 

The schedule for science data is best estimated relative to the System First Light Milestone. The Operations Team, in consultation with the Rubin Construction Project, currently anticipate the following:

  • The first data preview release (DP1, for details see, which is currently under revision), based on a subset of images supporting the System First Light milestone: 2-3 months after System First Light 
  • The LSST Survey start: 4-7 months after System First Light. Some “near-live” alerts are planned around the time of the LSST Survey start, and then alert production is planned to increase smoothly to "live" during the early months of the LSST Survey, covering more regions over time as the static-sky templates are built up.
  • Data Preview 2 (DP2): 9-12 months after System First Light
  • Data Release 1 (DR1): 12-14 months after LSST Survey start

Top level Earned Value Management (EVM) Data Table



Financial support for Rubin Observatory 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 Rubin Observatory 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 Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) 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.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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