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Published July 19, 2010 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Science data quality assessment for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope


LSST will have a Science Data Quality Assessment (SDQA) subsystem for the assessment of the data products that will be produced during the course of a 10 yr survey. The LSST will produce unprecedented volumes of astronomical data as it surveys the accessible sky every few nights. The SDQA subsystem will enable comparisons of the science data with expectations from prior experience and models, and with established requirements for the survey. While analogous systems have been built for previous large astronomical surveys, SDQA for LSST must meet a unique combination of challenges. Chief among them will be the extraordinary data rate and volume, which restricts the bulk of the quality computations to the automated processing stages, as revisiting the pixels for a post-facto evaluation is prohibitively expensive. The identification of appropriate scientific metrics is driven by the breadth of the expected science, the scope of the time-domain survey, the need to tap the widest possible pool of scientific expertise, and the historical tendency of new quality metrics to be crafted and refined as experience grows. Prior experience suggests that contemplative, off-line quality analyses are essential to distilling new automated quality metrics, so the SDQA architecture must support integrability with a variety of custom and community-based tools, and be flexible to embrace evolving QA demands. Finally, the time-domain nature of LSST means every exposure may be useful for some scientific purpose, so the model of quality thresholds must be sufficiently rich to reflect the quality demands of diverse science aims.

Additional Information

© 2010 SPIE. The LSST development work is the result of efforts by the LSST collaboration of scientist, engineers, technicians, managers as well as the study work contracted to several outside entities. This team of dedicated and recognized experts in their field is what makes the LSST project a success. At the 2008 annual LSST all hands meeting there were 160 people that participated from the project team and Science Collaborations. 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. This work is supported by in part the National Science Foundation under Scientific Program Order No. 9 (AST-0551161) and Scientific Program Order No. 1 (AST-0244680) through Cooperative Agreement AST-0132798. Portions of this work are supported by the Department of Energy under contract DE-AC02-76SF00515 with the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, contract DE-AC02-98CH10886 with Brookhaven National Laboratory, and contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Additional funding comes from private donations, grants to universities, and in-kind support at Department of Energy laboratories and other LSSTC Institutional Members.

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