The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope system will produce a 6-band (0.3-1.1 micron) wide-field deep astronomical survey of over 20,000 square degrees of the southern sky using an 8.4-meter ground-based telescope. Each patch of sky will be visited about 1000 times in ten years. The LSST leverages innovative technology in all subsystems: the camera (3200 Megapixels, which will be the world's largest digital camera), telescope (simultaneous casting of the primary and tertiary mirrors; two aspheric optical surfaces on one substrate), a 9.6 square degree field of view with excellent image quality, and data management (30 terabytes of data nightly, nearly instant alerts issued for objects that change in position or brightness). This innovation on all fronts has attracted many institutional members and hundreds of other scientists in ten science collaborations.
The LSST camera must produce data of extremely high quality with minimal downtime and maintenance. In order to take advantage of high-quality images produced over such a wide field, the camera will contain over three billion pixels of solid state detectors.
The 8.4-meter LSST will use a special three-mirror design, creating an exceptionally wide field of view and will have the ability to survey the entire sky in only three nights. Site selection will be made from existing candidate sites which meet the criteria specific to the LSST.
Software is one of the most challenging aspects of the LSST, as more than 30 Terabytes of data must be processed and stored each night in producing the largest non-proprietary data set in the world.