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4 August 2010 Simulating the LSST system
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Extracting science from the LSST data stream requires a detailed knowledge of the properties of the LSST catalogs and images (from their detection limits to the accuracy of the calibration to how well galaxy shapes can be characterized). These properties will depend on many of the LSST components including the design of the telescope, the conditions under which the data are taken and the overall survey strategy. To understand how these components impact the nature of the LSST data the simulations group is developing a framework for high fidelity simulations that scale to the volume of data expected from the LSST. This framework comprises galaxy, stellar and solar system catalogs designed to match the depths and properties of the LSST (to r=28), transient and moving sources, and image simulations that ray-trace the photons from above the atmosphere through the optics and to the camera. We describe here the state of the current simulation framework and its computational challenges.
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