Telescope and Site is a subsystem of the Rubin Observatory which includes the telescope itself, as well as the buildings and facilities needed to support the operations and maintenance of Rubin Observatory.
The Rubin Observatory Simonyi Survey Telescope features a unique three-mirror, three-lens optical assembly and the world’s largest CCD camera. The telescope’s movement is powered by magnet motors, ensuring fast, smooth, and quiet slewing from one observation field to the next. The telescope's active optics system allows us to change the shape of the different mirrors in order to constantly improve image quality. Light baffles, wind protection, and thermal controls with natural ventilation and daytime cooling mitigate environmental issues such as ambient light, wind, and large variations in temperature, which can all affect image quality.
The Rubin Observatory telescope and facility are designed to be highly automated, requiring little human intervention. During observing, the telescope will be controlled by a sophisticated observatory software scheduler, while an operator will always be on duty at the summit. Researchers can also monitor progress in real time at any remote operation center. Limited summit staff will be available to ensure safe operation, and to troubleshoot as needed.
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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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