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April 2014  •  Volume 7 Number 2

DES-LSST Joint Workshop

DES-LSST Workshop Group Photo. Image credit: Reidar Hahn / FNAL

More than 100 participants took part in a Dark Energy Survey (DES) - LSST Joint Workshop at Fermilab on March 24-27, 2014. With the DES having officially begun survey operations on August 31, 2013, and the LSST making steady and impressive progress, lead organizers Zeljko Ivezic (LSST/UW) and Scott Dodelson (DES/FNAL) designed the workshop to provide a timely forum for people on both projects to share lessons learned and discuss future synergistic activities.

The four-day workshop emphasized Survey Characteristics on the first day, Data Management issues on the second, Simulations and Analysis on the third day with breakout sessions for calibration, data analysis, and education and public outreach on the fourth. Many talks were coordinated with representatives from both projects presenting information on the selected topic. The agenda, participant list, and most presentations are available at

One popular topic was the use of the LSST software stack in other surveys, identifying which components are useful and adequately mature to share. Similar discussions about DES and LSST simulations, calibration experiences, and data release processing illuminated several opportunities for potential technical collaboration. An evening session on Data Quality Assessment tools actually used for DES observing was particularly informative, showing in detail how the interface works.

Final remarks from LSST Chief Scientist Tony Tyson described the incredible potential for science breakthroughs in the next decade, the result of technological advances that make DES and LSST possible. DES Director Josh Frieman closed with a substantial list of future synergistic projects that could move forward. Pointing out that DES will have 5+ seasons of data accumulated, analyzed, and publicly released by the time LSST starts survey operations, LSST development stands to gain considerably from the DES experience. Conversely the LSST project and collaborations are developing sophisticated tools that can be tested on and help improve the DES. Collaboration between the projects will strengthen this feedback loop to the benefit of both, furthering our eventual understanding of Dark Energy.


LSST is a public-private partnership. Funding for design and development activity comes from the National Science Foundation, private donations, grants to universities, and in-kind support at Department of Energy laboratories and other LSSTC Institutional Members:

Adler Planetarium; Argonne National Laboratory; Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL); California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon University; Chile; Columbia University; Cornell University; Drexel University; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; George Mason University; Google, Inc.; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Institut de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3); Johns Hopkins University; Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) – Stanford University; Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Inc.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); National Optical Astronomy Observatory; National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Northwestern University; Princeton University; Purdue University; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; Rutgers University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Space Telescope Science Institute; Texas A & M University; The Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; The Pennsylvania State University; The University of Arizona; University of California at Davis; University of California at Irvine; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Michigan; University of Oxford; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; University of Washington; Vanderbilt and Fisk Universities

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