Simulation of autonomous observing with a ground-based telescope: The LSST experience

Stephen Ridgway, Kem Cook, Michelle Miller, Catherine Petry, Srinivasan Chandrasekharan, Abhijit Saha, Robyn Allsman, Timothy Axelrod, Charles Claver, Francisco Delgado, Zeljko Ivezic, R. Lynne Jones, Simon Krughoff, Francesco Pierfederici, Phillip Pinto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


A survey program with multiple science goals will be driven by multiple technical requirements. On a ground-based telescope, the variability of conditions introduces yet greater complexity. For a program that must be largely autonomous with minimal dwell time for efficiency it may be quite difficult to foresee the achievable performance. Furthermore, scheduling will likely involve self-referential constraints and appropriate optimization tools may not be available. The LSST project faces these issues, and has designed and implemented an approach to performance analysis in its Operations Simulator and associated post-processing packages. The Simulator has allowed the project to present detailed performance predictions with a strong basis from the engineering design and measured site conditions. At present, the Simulator is in regular use for engineering studies and science evaluation, and planning is underway for evolution to an operations scheduling tool. We will describe the LSST experience, emphasizing the objectives, the accomplishments and the lessons learned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationObservatory Operations
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies, Processes, and Systems III
StatePublished - 2010
EventObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 30 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Automation
  • Scheduling
  • Survey
  • Telescope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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