LSST - Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

Site: Cerro Pachòn - Chile
State: under construction
Detail Design, Manufacturing, Pre-Assembly in Europe, Packing &Transport, Erection on Site, Commissioning and Testing activities

Date: 2014-2022

Client: NSF-AURA

Category: astronomy


The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope


The LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) is a public-private partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF), the lead Federal Agency of the project, the Department of Energy and the Association Of Universities For Research In Astronomy (AURA), while the LSST Corporation which is clearly also involved in the project, is a non-profit association, set up to establish the additional partnerships necessary for the construction and operation as well to work with the scientific community.

The LSST will be a wide-field ( 9.6 deg²), optical survey, ground-based telescope, with an 8.4m diameter primary mirror and a 3.2 Gigapixel camera, positioned directly under the secondary mirror. With a collective area of 40m² it has been designed to obtain multiple images covering the entire sky visible from Cerro Pachón – Chile, and it will detect changes in brightness and position occurring in the Universe.
The huge amount of data that will be gathered and processed over 10 years will be used to create a 3D map of the Universe with unprecedented depth and detail.
Thanks to its powerful camera, the LSST will provide high quality time-lapse images and scientists and students from all over the world will be able to use this map to probe the mysteries of the Dark Matter and the properties of the Dark Energy, to take an inventory of the Solar System, explore the transient Universe and map the Milky Way.
It is estimated that thanks to the LSST, data will result in databases including 20 billion galaxies and a similar number of stars.

The project is now in the construction phase and will begin regular survey operations by 2022.

Characteristics of the LSST Rotating Enclosure:

During 2014 EIE bid for the design and construction of the LSST Rotating Building and was awarded the contract last May 2015.
The building which will house the LSST, has been designed to guarantee the telescope maximum exposure during observation activities and to protect it from the environment, the desert strong winds and the dust.
The Dome will also have the following characteristics:

• It will be provided with a light/wind screen to minimize the effects of stray and wind inside the building;
• It will be equipped with a controller ventilation and flushing system during night observations, so to minimize the thermal variations which could have effects on the image quality;
• Facilitate maintenance of both Dome and Telescope;
• It will be provided with thermal control system;
• It will be light tight during the daytime to enable testing and calibration of the telescope’s optical system.

The LSST Rotating Dome will have a geometry similar to that of the 4 VLTs and it will reside on an insulated cylindrical concrete lower enclosure (or telescope pier), 17m high with a 30m diameter.
The rotation of the Dome will be completely independent from the Telescope (non-co-rotating) and this is due to the telescope’s compact three mirror optical system. Freeing the Dome and the telescope azimuth rotations will facilitate maintenance, calibration and thermal control.

Science with LSST:
Already in its first month of operation the LSST will see more Universe than all previous ground-based telescopes.
The 3.2 Gigapixel camera it is provided with, will survey the sky quickly and repeatedly imaging everything over and over. Thanks to a giant computer for data processing, the LSSTwill produce an entirely new view of our Universe enabling unforeseen explorations of discovery.
The LSST will explore four main science themes:

• The dark Universe: Dark Matter and Dark Energy;
• It will observe the Transient Universe;
• It will study the Solar System into details: the outer Solar System and Near Earth Objects.
• It will map the Milky Way and will try to answer to some of the questions related to its structure and evolution or what are the properties of all the stars around the Sun.

Link alla pagina web di LSST