A Framework for End to End Simulations of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

Gibson, Rob

As observatories get bigger and more complicated to operate, risk mitigation techniques become even more important. Additionally, the size and complexity of data coming from the next generation of surveys will present enormous challenges in how we process, store and analyze these data. End-to-end simulations of telescopes with the scope of LSST are essential to correct problems an verify science capabilities as early as possible.

A simulator can also determine how defects and trade-offs in individual subsystems impact the overall design requirements. In this talk, we present the architecture, implementation, and results of the source simulation framework for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). The framework creates time based realizations of astronomical objects and formats the output for use in many different survey contexts (i.e. image simulation, reference catalogs, calibration catalogs, and simulated science outputs). The simulations include Milky Way, cosmological, and solar system models as well as transient and variable objects. All model objects can be tied to and sampled with the LSST cadence from any operations simulator run. The result is a representative, full-sky simulation of LSST data that can be used to asses telescope performance, the feasibility of science goals, and strategies for processing LSST-scale data volumes.

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