Opening a Window of Discovery on the Dynamic Universe

Alert Brokers

Information for Rubin Observatory Alerts and Community Brokers

What is an Alert Broker?
One of the results of Rubin Observatory's real-time difference image analysis processing is a world-public stream of alerts containing data about transient, variable, and moving sources (find out more about Rubin Observatory processing and products like alerts in the Data Products Definitions Document). These alerts will be distributed to community brokers: software systems that will ingest, process, and serve astronomical alerts from Rubin Observatory and other surveys to the broader scientific community. Typical broker functionality includes cross-match association with archival catalogs, the identification and prioritization of objects in need of follow-up observations, and photometric classification based on light-curve analysis.

How are the Rubin Observatory Alert Brokers Selected?
Due to the anticipated high bandwidth of the Rubin Observatory alert stream, only a limited number of brokers can receive the stream directly from Rubin Observatory. The broker selection process is detailed in LDM-612, and all decisions are the responsibility of the Rubin Observatory Science Advisory Committee (SAC) and Rubin Observatory Operations. In May 2019 the process began with Letters of Intent submitted from 15 teams, and in June 2019 a Community Brokers Workshop was held in Seattle WA. In August 2019 the SAC announced that all LOI teams were encouraged to submit full proposals.

Where can I find information about pre-LSST alert streams, real and simulated?
First, check out questions one and two of the Rubin Observatory Answers to Community Broker FAQs. For more information about ZTF alerts, see Patterson et al. (2019): The Zwicky Transient Facility Alert Distribution System. An archive of ZTF alerts made available by the University of Washington can be accessed here. The ANTARES FAQ and Antares Devkit also contain instructions and demonstrations of how to write filters for the ZTF alert stream.

Resources for Time-Domain Science with Rubin Observatory Alerts

Community-Produced Resources

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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