The Commissioning Phase of the LSST Project is the final stage in the combined NSF and DOE funded LSST construction project. The LSST commission phase is planned to start early in 2020 and be completed near the end of 2022, ending with the LSST Observatory system ready to start survey operations. Commissioning includes the assembly of the three principal subsystems (Telescope, Camera and Data Management) into the LSST Observatory System and the integration and test (AI&T) efforts as well as the science verification activities. The LSST System AI&T and Commissioning Plan is driven by a combination of engineering and scientifically oriented activities to show compliance with technical requirements and readiness to conduct science operations (acquiring data, processing data, and serving data and derived data products to users). LSST System AI&T and Commissioning will be carried out over four phases of activity: Phase-0) Pre-commissioning preparations (work breakdown structure; Phase-1) Early System AI&T with a commissioning camera (ComCam); Phase-2) Full System AI&T when the LSST Science Camera is shipped to Chile, integrated on the telescope and the data management system (DMS) is exercised with full scale data; and Phase-3) Science Validation where a series of mini-surveys are used to characterize the system with respect to the survey performance specifications in the SRD/LSR and functionality of the, leading to operations readiness. The Science Validation Phase concludes with an Operations Readiness Review (ORR).
The LSST System Assembly, Integration and Test and Commissioning effort has been planned out over several phases The first phase of commissioning under Early AI&T is designed to test and verify the system level interfaces using ComCam – a 144Mpixel imager utilizing the same control components as the full science camera. During this period, the telescope active optics system will be brought into compliance with system requirements; the scheduler will be exercised and all safety checks verified for autonomous operation; and early DM algorithm testing will be performed with on-sky data from ComCam using a commissioning computing cluster at the Base Facility.
The second phase of activities under Full System AI&T is designed to complete the technical integration of the three principal subsystems and EPO, show full compliance with system level requirements as detailed in the Observatory System Specifications and system level interface control documents, and provide full scale data for further DM/EPO software and algorithmic testing and development. System level requirements that flow directly to subsystems without any further derivation will be tested for compliance, at the subsystem level and below, under the supervision of Project Systems Engineering. This document includes the general approach and goals for these tests. It is expected that roughly four (4) months into the Full System AI&T phase the telescope and camera will be fully integrated and routinely producing science grade images over the full field of view (FOV), at which point “System First Light” will be declared. Following System First Light will be an intensive data acquisition period design to test the image processing pipelines and validate the derived science products that are to be delivered by the LSST survey.
The third and final phase of activities under Science Validation is designed to fully characterize the system performance specifications detailed in LSST System Requirements Document and the range of demonstrated performance per the LSST Science Requirements. These activities are based on the measured “On-Sky” performance and informed simulations of the LSST system.
In this paper we describe the inputs and assumptions to the commissioning plan, a summary of the activities in each phase, management strategies and expected outcomes.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is under construction in Chile. To make the delivered system meet the science goals, the project defines a set of performance metrics, and constantly monitors the system performance by evaluating the metrics against their requirements. In this paper, we describe the latest updates to the comprehensive tool set we have developed for evaluating the LSST system performance, which we collectively refer to as the LSST integrated model, and recent work on utilizing these tools for system verification. We also broaden our set of performance metrics and introduce an integrated-étendue-based metrics framework, which is useful for not just system verification, but also mitigation and optimization. Most of the major metrics currently being monitored fit under this framework, including image quality, system throughput, the single-visit point source 5σdetection limit, etc. We also mointor the Point Spread Function (PSF) ellipticity, which isn't part of this metrics framework, but is an output of the integrated model.
High spatial resolution thermal unsteady CFD simulations of LSST are performed and processed to provide image degradation due to dome seeing in FWHM. An analysis of the sensitivity of the image quality to certain important geometric features and aerothermal properties is presented. More specifically, the influence of the LSST vent light baffles and windscreen, the wind speed and the surface temperature of components such as the primary and secondary mirrors, the camera, the telescope structure and dome exterior is assessed and conclusions are drawn. The secondary mirror and camera surface temperatures are found to be among the most critical in minimizing LSST dome seeing.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is an 8.4m telescope now in construction on Cerro Pachón, in Chile. This telescope is designed to conduct a 10-year survey of the southern sky in which it will map the entire night sky every few nights. In order to achieve this goal, the telescope mount has been designed to achieve high accelerations that will allow the system to change the observing field in just 2 seconds. These rapid slews will subject the M1M3 mirror to high inertial and changing gravitational forces that has to be actively compensated for in order to keep the mirror safe, aligned, and properly figured during operations. The LSST M1M3 active support system is composed of six “hard point” actuators and 156 pneumatic actuators. The hard points define the mirror position in the mirror cell (with little or no applied force) and hold that position while observing in order to maintain the alignment of the telescope optics. The pneumatic actuators provide the force-distributed mirror support plus a known (static) figure correction as well as dynamic optical figure optimizations coming from other components of the Active Optics System. Optimizing this mirror support system required the introduction of innovative control concepts in the control loops (Inner and Outer). The Inner Loop involves an extensive pressure control loop to ensure precise force feedback for each pneumatic actuator while the Outer Loop includes telescope motion sensors to provide the real-time feedback to compensate for the changing external inertial and gravitational forces. These optimizations allow the mirror support system to maximize the hard point force-offloading while keeping the glass safe when slewing and during seismic events.
Proc. SPIE. 9911, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VII
KEYWORDS: Actuators, Telescopes, Mirrors, 3D modeling, Space telescopes, Finite element methods, Computer aided design, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Systems modeling, Solid modeling
During this early stage of construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), modeling has become a crucial system engineering process to ensure that the final detailed design of all the sub-systems that compose the telescope meet requirements and interfaces. Modeling includes multiple tools and types of analyses that are performed to address specific technical issues. Three-dimensional (3D) Computeraided Design (CAD) modeling has become central for controlling interfaces between subsystems and identifying potential interferences. The LSST Telescope dynamic requirements are challenging because of the nature of the LSST survey which requires a high cadence of rapid slews and short settling times. The combination of finite element methods (FEM), coupled with control system dynamic analysis, provides a method to validate these specifications. An overview of these modeling activities is reported in this paper including specific cases that illustrate its impact.
All of the components of the LSST subsystems (Telescope and Site, Camera, and Data Management) are in production. The major systems engineering challenges in this early construction phase are establishing the final technical details of the observatory, and properly evaluating potential deviations from requirements due to financial or technical constraints emerging from the detailed design and manufacturing process. To meet these challenges, the LSST Project Systems Engineering team established an Integrated Modeling (IM) framework including (i) a high fidelity optical model of the observatory, (ii) an atmospheric aberration model, and (ii) perturbation interfaces capable of accounting for quasi static and dynamic variations of the optical train. The model supports the evaluation of three key LSST Measures of Performance: image quality, ellipticity, and their impact on image depth. The various feedback loops improving image quality are also included. The paper shows application examples, as an update to the estimated performance of the Active Optics System, the determination of deployment parameters for the wavefront sensors, the optical evaluation of the final M1M3 surface quality, and the feasibility of satisfying the settling time requirement for the telescope structure.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is an 8-meter class wide-field telescope now under construction on Cerro Pachon, near La Serena, Chile. This ground-based telescope is designed to conduct a decade-long time domain survey of the optical sky. In order to achieve the LSST scientific goals, the telescope requires delivering seeing limited image quality over the 3.5 degree field-of-view. Like many telescopes, LSST will use an Active Optics System (AOS) to correct in near real-time the system aberrations primarily introduced by gravity and temperature gradients. The LSST AOS uses a combination of 4 curvature wavefront sensors (CWS) located on the outside of the LSST field-of-view. The information coming from the 4 CWS is combined to calculate the appropriate corrections to be sent to the 3 different mirrors composing LSST. The AOS software incorporates a wavefront sensor estimation pipeline (WEP) and an active optics control system (AOCS). The WEP estimates the wavefront residual error from the CWS images. The AOCS determines the correction to be sent to the different degrees of freedom every 30 seconds. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of the AOS. More particularly, we will focus on the software architecture as well as the AOS interactions with the various subsystems within LSST.
At the core of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) three-mirror optical design is the primary/tertiary (M1M3) mirror that combines these two large mirrors onto one monolithic substrate. The M1M3 mirror was spin cast and polished at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at The University of Arizona (formerly SOML, now the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at the University of Arizona (RFCML)). Final acceptance of the mirror occurred during the year 2015 and the mirror is now in storage while the mirror cell assembly is being fabricated. The M1M3 mirror will be tested at RFCML after integration with its mirror cell before being shipped to Chile.
We make a detailed quantitative comparison of the wavefront recovery algorithms between those developed for Dark Energy Camera (DECam) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Samples used in this study include images of out of focus stars collected by the DECam at the Blanco 4-meter telescope and artificial simulated donut images. The data from DECam include wavefront images collected by the wavefront sensors and out-of-focus images where the entire DECam sensor array is used. For simulated images, we have used both the forward Fraunhofer diffraction and a LSST-like ZEMAX optical model where the images are convolved with Kolmogorov atmosphere. All samples are analyzed with the forward wavefront retrieval algorithm developed for DECam and the transport of intensity algorithm for LSST. Good quantitative agreement between results by the two implemented algorithms is observed.
The LSST M1/M3 combines an 8.4 m primary mirror and a 5.1 m tertiary mirror on one glass substrate. The combined mirror was completed at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at the University of Arizona in October 2014. Interferometric measurements show that both mirrors have surface accuracy better than 20 nm rms over their clear apertures, in nearsimultaneous tests, and that both mirrors meet their stringent structure function specifications. Acceptance tests showed that the radii of curvature, conic constants, and alignment of the 2 optical axes are within the specified tolerances. The mirror figures are obtained by combining the lab measurements with a model of the telescope’s active optics system that uses the 156 support actuators to bend the glass substrate. This correction affects both mirror surfaces simultaneously. We showed that both mirrors have excellent figures and meet their specifications with a single bending of the substrate and correction forces that are well within the allowed magnitude. The interferometers do not resolve some small surface features with high slope errors. We used a new instrument based on deflectometry to measure many of these features with sub-millimeter spatial resolution, and nanometer accuracy for small features, over 12.5 cm apertures. Mirror Lab and LSST staff created synthetic models of both mirrors by combining the interferometric maps and the small highresolution maps, and used these to show the impact of the small features on images is acceptably small.
To optimize the observing strategy of a large survey such as the LSST, one needs an accurate model of the night sky emission spectrum across a range of atmospheric conditions and from the near-UV to the near-IR. We have used the ESO SkyCalc Sky Model Calculator1, 2 to construct a library of template spectra for the Chilean night sky. The ESO model includes emission from the upper and lower atmosphere, scattered starlight, scattered moonlight, and zodiacal light. We have then extended the ESO templates with an empirical fit to the twilight sky emission as measured by a Canon all-sky camera installed at the LSST site. With the ESO templates and our twilight model we can quickly interpolate to any arbitrary sky position and date and return the full sky spectrum or surface brightness magnitudes in the LSST filter system. Comparing our model to all-sky observations, we find typical residual RMS values of ±0.2-0.3 magnitudes per square arcsecond.
The LSST is an integrated, ground based survey system designed to conduct a decade-long time domain survey of the
optical sky. It consists of an 8-meter class wide-field telescope, a 3.2 Gpixel camera, and an automated data processing
system. In order to realize the scientific potential of the LSST, its optical system has to provide excellent and consistent
image quality across the entire 3.5 degree Field of View. The purpose of the Active Optics System (AOS) is to optimize
the image quality by controlling the surface figures of the telescope mirrors and maintaining the relative positions of the
optical elements. The basic challenge of the wavefront sensor feedback loop for an LSST type 3-mirror telescope is the
near degeneracy of the influence function linking optical degrees of freedom to the measured wavefront errors. Our
approach to mitigate this problem is modal control, where a limited number of modes (combinations of optical degrees
of freedom) are operated at the sampling rate of the wavefront sensing, while the control bandwidth for the barely
observable modes is significantly lower. The paper presents a control strategy based on linear approximations to the
system, and the verification of this strategy against system requirements by simulations using more complete, non-linear
models for LSST optics and the curvature wavefront sensors.
The LSST will utilize an Active Optics System to optimize the image quality by controlling the surface figures of the
mirrors (M1M3 and M2) and maintain the relative position of the three optical systems (M1M3 mirror, M2 mirror and
the camera). The mirror surfaces are adjusted by means of figure control actuators that support the mirrors. The relative
rigid body positions of M1M3, M2 and the camera are controlled through hexapods that support the M2 mirror cell
assembly and the camera. The Active Optics System (AOS) is principally operated off of a Look-Up Table (LUT) with
corrections provided by wave front sensors.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) uses an Active Optics System (AOS) to maintain system alignment and surface figure on its three large mirrors. Corrective actions fed to the LSST AOS are determined from 4 curvature based wavefront sensors located on the corners of the inscribed square within the 3.5 degree field of view. Each wavefront sensor is a split detector such that the halves are 1mm on either side of focus. In this paper we describe the development of the Active Optics Pipeline prototype that simulates processing the raw image data from the wavefront sensors through to wavefront estimation on to the active optics corrective actions. We also describe various wavefront estimation algorithms under development for the LSST active optics system. The algorithms proposed are comprised of the Zernike compensation routine which improve the accuracy of the wavefront estimate. Algorithm development has been aided by a bench top optical simulator which we also describe. The current software prototype combines MATLAB modules for image processing, tomographic reconstruction, atmospheric turbulence and Zemax for optical ray-tracing to simulate the closed loop behavior of the LSST AOS. We describe the overall simulation model and results for image processing using simulated images and initial results of the wavefront estimation algorithms.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) has a 3.5º field of view and F/1.2 focus that makes the performance quite
sensitive to the perturbations of misalignments and mirror surface deformations. In order to maintain the image quality,
LSST has an active optics system (AOS) to measure and correct those perturbations in a closed loop. The perturbed
wavefront errors are measured by the wavefront sensors (WFS) located at the four corners of the focal plane. The
perturbations are solved by the non-linear least square algorithm by minimizing the rms variation of the measured and
baseline designed wavefront errors. Then the correction is realized by applying the inverse of the perturbations to the
optical system. In this paper, we will describe the correction processing in the LSST AOS. We also will discuss the
application of the algorithm, the properties of the sensitivity matrix and the stabilities of the correction. A simulation
model, using ZEMAX as a ray tracing engine and MATLAB as an analysis platform, is set up to simulate the testing and
correction loop of the LSST AOS. Several simulation examples and results are presented.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is a proposed ground based telescope that will perform a comprehensive
astronomical survey by imaging the entire visible sky in a continuous series of short exposures. Four special purpose
rafts, mounted at the corners of the LSST science camera, contain wavefront sensors and guide sensors. Wavefront
measurements are accomplished using curvature sensing, in which the spatial intensity distribution of stars is measured
at equal distances on either side of focus by CCD detectors. The four Corner Rafts also each hold two guide sensors. The
guide sensors monitor the locations of bright stars to provide feedback that controls and maintains the tracking of the
telescope during an exposure. The baseline sensor for the guider is a Hybrid Visible Silicon hybrid-CMOS detector. We
present here a conceptual mechanical and electrical design for the LSST Corner Rafts that meets the requirements
imposed by the camera structure, and the precision of both the wavefront reconstruction and the tracking. We find that a
single design can accommodate two guide sensors and one split-plane wavefront sensor integrated into the four corner
locations in the camera.