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Monthly Updates

Construction Project Status

For the period of performance March 1-31, 2023

(updated May 8, 2023)

The Project continues to make progress and address issues in the development of the Rubin system. The summit team focused on telescope mount testing, system integration and other early commissioning work through extensive night-time operation. Power and dome issues were addressed as they emerged, and many hours and nights of system operation afforded the team repeated opportunities to advance and test the system. The camera remains safely in the SLAC IR2 cleanroom, but without power to that facility. The camera team expects work authorization from SLAC in early March to restart the final phase of integration work. The Data Management team deployed the Rubin Science Platform identity and group management system this month, which will assist in user management at the US Data Facility.

Project earned value toward the MREFC effort rose $3.7 million this month to a calculated $477.7 million. The cost variance changed by $1.1 million this month to $1.5 million, and the cost performance index held at 1.0. The schedule variance changed by $0.1 million to $10.5 million, which equates to a schedule performance index of 0.98. Seven project controls change requests (LCRs) were implemented this month, requesting a total of $1,193,217 from contingency. As of the end of the month, the project has allocated 74% of the total contingency to the baseline through the change control process. The remaining contingency of $23.6 million if 56% of (TPCII  -BAC -CV)/(EACII -ACWP ).


(ETC = Estimate to completion, BAC = Budget at completion, BCWP = Budgeted cost of work performed).

Frequent updates can be found on our Blog posts and Digest. A Day in The Life of LSST may also be of interest.

Select Milestones

The Project achieved substantial completion of the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) and resumed camera integration work following conclusion of a lab-wide SLAC safety stand-down. These two important events launch the Project into an exciting period of work, but they necessitated an additional schedule review and adjustment. The full impact of the 11-week Camera work hiatus, an associated update to the Camera work at SLAC and adjustments to mirror system integration plans for TMA status caused a 41-day slip in the overall forecast schedule. Due largely to issues outside of Project control, this unavoidable delay will be attacked with an ongoing objective to improve the schedule. No changes have been made to the science validation period; so, the key summary impact is a delay in system first light and a corresponding delay in finishing. A complete review of the new plan continues with a planned leadership workshop in April, but a planned benefit from the updated schedule is more time to commission the TMA and mirror systems using surrogate mirrors so glass risk and exposure is reduced.

Updated with post Covid replan dates pending agency approval

The table shows forecast dates, i.e., the Project’s current best estimate. There is, in addition, schedule contingency that is not included in those dates, amounting to about 6 weeks at present. It is likely that the Project will use most or all of that schedule contingency. 

The schedule for science data is best estimated relative to the System First Light Milestone. The Operations Team, in consultation with the Rubin Construction Project, currently anticipate the following:

  • The first data preview release (DP1, for details see http://ls.st/rtn-011, which is currently under revision), based on a subset of images supporting the System First Light milestone: 2-3 months after System First Light 
  • The LSST Survey start: 4-7 months after System First Light. Some “near-live” alerts are planned around the time of the LSST Survey start, and then alert production is planned to increase smoothly to "live" during the early months of the LSST Survey, covering more regions over time as the static-sky templates are built up.
  • Data Preview 2 (DP2): 9-12 months after System First Light
  • Data Release 1 (DR1): 12-14 months after LSST Survey start

Top level Earned Value Management (EVM) Data Table



Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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