Workshop Scope

The LSST science community is invited to play a key role in the definition of LSST’s Observing Strategy by submitting white papers to help refine the ‘main survey’ strategy and fully define the use of 10-20% of time expected to be devoted to various mini surveys, Deep Drilling fields and Target of Opportunity programs. The LSST Project is soliciting white papers to help plan aspects of the LSST survey strategy including the sky coverage, per-bandpass imaging depth, temporal coverage, and various detailed observing constraints. Details are provided in the Call for White Papers on LSST Cadence Optimization with deadline for white paper submission is November 30, 2018.

The LSST Corporation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the Simons Center for Computational Astrophysics are organizing and hosting a 3-day workshop for representatives from the Science Collaborations (SCs) and cadence-simulation experts from the LSST project to help and guide workshop participants.

Selected SC members that plan to respond to the WP call will have the opportunity to work in small groups, using cadence simulation software and existing cadence simulations (along with a framework for analyzing simulation results), to explore innovative cadence strategies to increase LSST's scientific output from solar system science, to the discovery of new transients, to cosmology. Although some SCs are examining the influence of different cadence strategies on their particular scientific interests, the goal of this workshop is to foster collaboration and creative thinking across disciplines, establish dialog and collaboration among future LSST users with different scientific backgrounds, and generate high-quality white papers containing useful new ideas.

The Challenge to Participants

The LSST Science Advisory Committee (SAC) will have to review the set of submitted white papers and distill from them a list of observing strategies for the LSST Project to simulate, so:

  • Make the whole suite of in-prep science collaboration white papers better, by pro-actively identifying overlaps between your draft white papers, exploring synergies between science cases, and investigating the likely trade-offs that the SAC will have to consider.

The LSST Project will have to implement the LSST Community’s proposed observing strategies, so:

  • Design new observing strategies that could meet our collective science goals, and investigate how they could be simulated.

The LSST Project will need to quantitatively evaluate the science performance of all the new observing strategies, so:

  • Provide in-depth descriptions of how to evaluate simulated cadences from your particular science viewpoint, using simple diagnostic performance metrics and/or heuristic or approximate figures of merit.

Your target product for this workshop is a 4-slide summary presentation, that includes:

  1. A description of the scientific opportunity, synergy or tension you investigated,
  2. A new observing strategy that, when simulated, could improve our understanding of the above,
  3. The OpSim set-up or required new features that would be needed to simulate this strategy,
  4. A description of the performance metrics that should be used to evaluate this and all other simulated cadences given the science in question.


  • Dates

    September 17-19, 2018. 2+1 days (participation to the last day is optional)

  • Location

    Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flat Iron Institute, New York, NY

  • Participants

    About 40 participants (to form 10 groups consisting of 4 researchers plus 1 facilitator and/or cadence expert) will be selected based on their applications. We expect to provide modest honoraria to approximately half of meeting participants, those committed to writing up their ideas as white papers and whose findings are deemed most promising by a panel of pundits.

  • Applications are closed at this time


  • LSST experts (Phil Marshall, Federica Bianco, Lynne Jones, or Zeljko Ivezic) will give opening talks about cadence constraints and strategies, the OpSim software, existing cadence simulations, and a summary of cadence structures that have already been explored (e.g., in Marshall et al. 2017).
  • Small groups of 3-4 people with different scientific interests will use computers with the OpSim software pre-installed to seek innovative cadence structures that satisfy all group members (by modifying existing simulations and/or running partial simulations)
  • Groups will present their findings.
  • Detailed agenda :


Federica Bianco (NYU, LSSTC)

Matteo Cantiello (CCA)

Zeljko Ivezic (LSST)

Lynne Jones (LSST)

Phil Marshall (SLAC, LSST)

Jeno Sokoloski (LSSTC, Columbia)

David Spergel (CCA, Princeton)


Local Information

Updates will be posted continuously

Code of Conduct

The SOC and all partners in the organization of this workshop are committed to providing a welcoming and productive environment at this meeting. All meeting participants will be expected to read and abide by the updated LSST Meeting Code of Conduct and by the AURA Workplace Conduct Standards