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LSST Data Management Entering the Era of Petascale Optical Astronomy

by Carolyn Hunsinger last modified Apr 25, 2013

Mario Juric (LSST)

LSST Data Management Entering the Era of Petascale Optical Astronomy

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST; http://lsst.org) is a planned, large-aperture, widefield, ground-based telescope that will survey half the sky every few nights in six optical bands from 320 to 1050 nm. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, ranging from discovering killer asteroids, to examining the nature of dark energy. LSST will produce on average 15 terabytes of data per night, yielding an (uncompressed) reduced data set of 200 petabytes at the end of its 10-year mission. Dedicated HPC facilities (with a total of 320 TFLOPS at start, scaling up to 1.7 PFLOPS by the end) will process the image data in near real time, with full-dataset reprocessings occurring on annual scale. A sophisticated data management system (DMS) will enable database queries from individual users, as well as computationally intensive scientific investigations that utilize the entire data set. The nature, quality, and volume of LSST data will be unprecedented in optical/IR astronomy, so the DMS design features petascale storage, terascale computing, and gigascale communications. LSST will be the first optical survey delivering petabyte-sized catalogs. Creating and mining those catalogs presents the community with significant challenges, as well as opportunities. I will discuss the DM system, the data products needed to achieve LSST’s science goals, the algorithms and technology being put in place to generate them, and report on DM’s progress as we prepare for Construction.