HEPL Monthly Seminar

Wed. 27 October 2004, 4pm
Applied Physics AP200 (Please note location change)

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

Professor Steve Kahn, Kavli Institute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford.

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be a large aperture, large field-of-view ground-based telescope operating in the visible band.  It is designed to provide a synoptic survey of a major fraction of the sky in five color bands, on timescales ranging from minutes to days.  The database generated by the LSST will be amenable to a wide variety of scientific analyses, ranging from searches for moving bodies in the solar system to the mapping of the dark matter distribution as a function of redshift through weak lensing.

SLAC will be the lead institution for the development of the LSST camera, which will be the largest digital camera ever built.  As such, its design presents a number of challenges.  The field of view will be 3.5 degrees in diameter and will be sampled by a 3 billion pixel array of sensors.  The entire array must be readout in under 2 s, which leads to demanding constraints on the sensor architecture and the readout electronics.  In addition, given the fast optical beam (f 1.2), the build tolerances on the assembly and alignment of the focal plane are tight.  The camera incorporates three very large refractive lenses, and an array of five large filters.

I will present an overview of the project, with particular emphasis on key aspects of the camera development program.