Designing a 3.2 giga-pixel camera for astronomy

Today, this is not a record image that we show, but the publication of a scientific paper about the design of an camera for astronomy to be installed in a giant telescope (8.4m), probably in Chile.

The 3.2 giga-pixel LSST camera will produce approximately half a petabyte of archive images every month. These data need to be reduced in under a minute to produce real-time transient alerts, and then added to the cumulative catalog for further analysis. The catalog is expected to grow about three hundred terabytes per year. The data volume, the real-time transient alerting requirements of the LSST, and its spatio-temporal aspects require innovative techniques to build an efficient data access system at reasonable cost. As currently envisioned, the system will rely on a database for catalogs and metadata. Several database systems are being evaluated to understand how they perform at these data rates, data volumes, and access patterns. This paper describes the LSST requirements, the challenges they impose, the data access philosophy, results to date from evaluating available database technologies against LSST requirements, and the proposed database architecture to meet the data challenges.

To be published in SPIE.

LSST focal array model

The web site for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).