Rubin Observatory Users Committee
Report from 2022B meeting (4 November 2022)
This report reflects discussions at both PCW 2022 and the UC’s November meeting.
We congratulate the Rubin Team on their continued success with engaging the user community.
In particular, PCW 2022 was very positive and generated a great deal of enthusiasm and fostered many collaborations.
- The notebooks and documentation for the DP0 user materials are generally very well done and quite helpful. Suggestions for improvements include:
- A simple, single “version change” page for the history of notebooks and/or tutorials, highlighting major updates.
- Links to the tutorials - both for notebook and portal tutorials in more places, including the platform home page (https://data.lsst.cloud). Some material is difficult to locate without multiple clicks.
- An FAQ page would also be helpful.
- We commend the project for taking advantage of the available DESC data to help the Dark Energy, TDA, and MW communities to prepare for commissioning and ops. We recommend that the project provide simulated data sets for other science communities.
For example, the Solar System community is expected to deliver major, outsized, early science contributions within days to months of the start of operations: from rapid discoveries of new interstellar objects, identifications of hazardous asteroids, to potential detections of new planets in the solar system. It is therefore critically important for this community to be fully on board and ready to utilize all LSST resources to realize this potential. However, at the moment, there are no products serving this community available within the RSP.
Without such products many users will not be able to start using the RSP in meaningful ways until real data are available. A resulting concentration of demand for guidance and help at the start of the survey could put a significant strain on the CET. Related to that, a lack of relevant test data makes it difficult for users to help with commissioning.
Similarly, many users will use the alert streams as their primary data sources or processing triggers. Using alerts and alert streams is still new to many scientists. It is important that simulated alerts, even a limited number of them, cover more of the use cases. We recommend the brokers or project provide a set of simulated alert packets based on DP0.2 DC2 data to provide concrete examples of alerts.
Target of Opportunity observations is another area where additional preparatory interaction with users would be very helpful. A meeting focused on ToOs has been recommended by the SCOC in their Phase 2 report (Bianco, private communication). It is important to involve in it a broad community to understand what services / tools the community may benefit from. Guidance from Rubin Operations, incorporating input from the community, regarding how much time for ToOs will be available and needed would be very helpful. A ToO policy should likely be focused on best use of NOIRLab/US OIR resources broadly, and not just about Rubin/LSST.
We recommend the project provide a characterization and validation report for DP0.2. Such a report would be of significant interest and use to help build toward the fuller and larger reports that will come with DP1, DP2, and DR1. These reports are part of the interface between the Rubin/LSST data and the scientific community.