Opening a Window of Discovery on the Dynamic Universe

Call for White Papers on LSST Cadence Optimization

The LSST science community is invited to play a key role in the definition of LSST’s Observing Strategy.


By submitting white papers to help refine the ‘main survey’ and fully define the use of 10-20% of time expected to be devoted to various ‘mini surveys’ including:

  • the Deep Drilling mini-surveys
  • ‘Target of Opportunity’ programs

The LSST Science Requirements Document (SRD) places minimal constraints on the observing strategy, recognizing that science evolves and that the initial (by now more than a decade old) survey strategy would have to be redefined closer to first light.

With LSST first light expected in 2020, and the LSST operations phase starting in 2022, now is the time to undertake the final planning for the initial LSST observing strategy. While the existing candidate baseline survey strategy has been primarily defined by the LSST Project, the final planning must be undertaken hand-in-hand with the community. There are no specific limitations on what kind of science programs will be considered, except that the four primary LSST science themes (for a brief introduction, please see must remain the cornerstones of the LSST survey.

We seek science-driven input for observing strategy properties such as:

  • the sky coverage
  • per-bandpass imaging depth
  • temporal coverage and
  • various detailed observing constraints

The LSST Project is soliciting white papers to help plan these aspects of the LSST survey strategy.

Details are provided in the Call for White Papers on LSST Cadence Optimization available here


The deadline for white paper submission is November 30, 2018. For submission details, please see Call above.


An open, searchable resource for asking questions is available on LSST Community, Team members will monitor and respond in a timely manner to questions posted there.  

In addition, there is a mailing list available (email: lsst-survey-strategy at to contact the survey strategy team in case of specific questions and/or concerns. Messages posted to the mailing list are broadcasted to the survey strategy team and archived. The same list will be used for white paper submission.

Zeljko Ivezic, Lynne Jones, and Tiago Ribeiro, 
For the LSST Project and LSST Science Advisory Committee


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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