August 4, 2017 – Exciting work took place on calibration hill on Cerro Pachón this week culminating with the Ash Dome being safely lifted onto the Auxiliary Telescope enclosure on August 3rd. LSST Summit Integration Engineer Freddy Muñoz and the LSST summit team first coordinated the assembly of the dome on the ground beside the building. This multi-day process included building a custom spreader bar to position the lifting cables and protect the dome during the lift. The new dome is 30’ in diameter and weights approximately 5 tons. The team had waited several weeks for calm weather so the dome could be gently placed on the circular building. While the lift itself was pretty quick, the team is working on the summit today doing the finishing touches on the installation. Over the coming days, work will focus on fine leveling of the base plate and grouting between the dome and the wall. As described in this earlier story, the 1.2-meter Auxiliary Telescope will measure atmospheric conditions at the site and provide information necessary to calibrate the LSST data throughout the survey.
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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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