1. Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)
  2. EPO Design
  3. LEP-31
  4. Latest Revision Date: Aug 30, 2017
    1. Change Record
    2. Table of Contents
    3. Executive Summary
    4. 1 Requirements
      1. Reference Documents:
    5. 2 Responsibilities
    6. 3 EPO Program Initiatives
    7. EPO Portal
    8. Formal Education and Data Access
    9. Citizen Science
    10. Multimedia for Planetariums and Science Centers
    11. LSST Science Community
    12. 4 EPO Data Center
    13. 5 Evaluation
    14. 6 Staffing
    15. 7 Appendix
    16. Operational Readiness

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

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EPO Design

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LEP-31

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Latest Revision Date: Aug 30, 2017
This LSST document has been approved as a Content-Controlled Document. Its contents are subject to
configuration control and may not be changed, altered, or their provisions waived without prior
approval. If this document is changed or superseded, the new document will retain the Handle
designation shown above. The control is on the most recent digital document with this Handle in the
LSST digital archive and not printed versions.

LSST EPO Design
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Change Record
Version
Date
Description
Owner name
2.0
10/7/2013
FDR version of EPO Baseline Design, D-12079
S. Jacoby
3.0
10/2016
Refreshed based on updated EPO
Requirements (LSE-89) and planning
subsequent to FDR
B. Emmons
3.1
10/26/2016
Replaced full text of LSE-29 and LSE-30
requirements with a reference.
B. Selvy
3.2
10/28/2016
Removed telescope status reference since
Engineering Facilities Database (EFD) status is
in flux
B. Emmons
3.3
10/28/2016
Added support section
B. Emmons
3.4
11/1/2016
Updated Operational Readiness appendix
B. Emmons
3.5
11/18/2016
Updated primary authorship to include S.
Jacoby for proper attribution
B. Emmons
3.6
11/22/2016
Added light curve plot feature to Object Pages
section
B. Emmons
4.0
07/18/2017
Refreshed based on Operations planning
A. Bauer, B. Emmons,
E. Bechtol
4.1
07/25/2017
Reorganized Section 4 and added intro text to
several sections
A. Bauer
4.2
07/26/2017
Updated the EDC derivative data sources
B. Emmons
4.3
08/02/2017
Added evaluation information for each
initiative and revised evaluation sections
E. Bechtol
4.4
08/03/2017
Reorganization and content edit
A. Bauer
4.5
08/09/2017
Formatting
B. Emmons
4.6
08/18/2017
Scope verbiage from recent long-range EPO
planning
A. Bauer, B. Emmons

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4.7
08/30/2017
Community involvement, including Broader
Impacts
A. Bauer, E. Bechtol

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Table of Contents
Change Record .............................................................................................................................................. 1
Executive Summary....................................................................................................................................... 4
1
Requirements........................................................................................................................................ 6
2
Responsibilities ..................................................................................................................................... 6
3
EPO Program Initiatives ........................................................................................................................ 7
EPO Portal ................................................................................................................................................. 7
Formal Education and Data Access........................................................................................................... 8
Citizen Science ........................................................................................................................................ 10
Multimedia for Planetariums and Science Centers ................................................................................ 11
LSST Science Community ........................................................................................................................ 13
4
EPO Data Center.................................................................................................................................. 14
5
Evaluation ........................................................................................................................................... 17
6
Staffing ................................................................................................................................................ 20
7
Appendix ............................................................................................................................................. 21
Operational Readiness............................................................................................................................ 21

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Executive Summary
This document provides an overview of the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program for the
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). It defines the specific EPO program elements that shape
the costs, schedule, and scope detailed in the LSST Project Management Control System (PMCS)
- WBS 5.0.
The purpose of LSST EPO is to provide non-specialists access to LSST data through tools and
interfaces that engage diverse communities with authentic research experiences and activities.
Key responsibilities are guided by requirements for user-centered learning experiences that meet
the needs of specific audiences with different levels of knowledge, experiences, and skills.
LSST EPO will serve four main categories of users: 1) general public, 2) formal educators, 3) citizen
science principal investigators, and 4) content developers at informal science education facilities.
These audiences will be reached through four initiatives of the EPO program: the EPO Portal,
formal education and data access, citizen science, and multimedia.
A goal of LSST EPO is to facilitate a pathway from entry-level exploration of astronomical imagery
to more sophisticated interaction with LSST data using tools similar to what professional
astronomers use for their work. The EPO Portal will enable members of the public to explore
color images of the full LSST sky, examine objects in more detail, view events from the nightly
alert stream, and investigate scientific questions that excite them using real LSST data in digital
science notebooks.
Formal educators will have access to online, easily adoptable classroom investigations designed
to support key aspects of the Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
1
in the USA, and goals
of the Explora program
2
through CONICYT in Chile. LSST
EPO’s
Education Team will also provide
the professional development training and instructional materials necessary to help educators
successfully engage their students with these online data investigations.
Anyone around the world will be able to participate in a large variety of citizen science projects
that use LSST data. The EPO Team will work with Zooniverse’s Project Builder to develop tools
compatible with LSST data, allowing LSST principal investigators to create any number of projects
to help them accomplish their science goals. EPO anticipates that the number of citizen science
projects in the astronomy field will increase dramatically when LSST is operational, giving a whole
1
https://www.nextgenscience.org/
2
http://www.explora.cl/

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new generation of citizen scientists the opportunity to deepen their engagement with astronomy
using real data from LSST.
LSST EPO will provide multimedia visualizations for use by museums, science centers, and
planetariums around the world, offering maximum flexibility in adapting the materials to specific
needs. These visualizations, associated metadata, and distribution methods will follow industry
standards and best practices.
Underlying all EPO programing is critical infrastructure that responds quickly to varying levels of
demand. Therefore, a foundational component of LSST EPO is the cloud-based EPO Data Center
(EDC) which allows for scalable, on-demand computing best suited to the EPO audience.
Finally, where possible, LSST EPO products will be available in both English and Spanish, enabling
wider access and participation (especially to our Chilean partners).

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1
Requirements
At the highest level, the need for an EPO program is established in the LSST System Requirements
Document (LSR, LSE-29) and flows down to the LSST Observatory System Specifications (OSS, LSE-
30). From there, full implementation requirements are detailed in LSE-89 (EPO Subsystem
Requirements) and LSE-131 (DM/EPO Interface, which includes details of the subset of LSST data
to be transferred to the EPO Data Center). Details related to EPO Commissioning are included in
LSE-79 (LSST Commissioning Plan) and details for EPO Operations are included in LPM-181 (LSST
Operations Plan).
This technical system-level documentation is under Change Control within the LSST Project and
the work within is subject to Compliance and Verification Procedures (LSE-160) as defined by the
LSST Systems Engineering Team.
Reference Documents:
?
LSST System Requirements (LSR) (LSE-29)
?
Observatory System Specifications (OSS) (LSE-30)
?
EPO Subsystem Requirements (LSE-89)
?
DM/EPO ICD (LSE-131)
?
LSST Commissioning Plan (LSE-79)
?
LSST Operations Plan (LPM-181)

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2
Responsibilities
The key responsibilities that drive the overall scope of LSST EPO are:
Provide non-specialists access to LSST data through online tools and interfaces.
Facilitate citizen science projects that use LSST data.
Further STEM education and training by engaging with educators to integrate real
LSST data into classrooms and introductory astronomy courses.
Develop multi-media resources for content developers at informal science education
facilities.
Build partnerships with institutions and organizations serving under-represented
groups in STEM and proactively engage with diverse audiences.
Engage with the Chilean community by providing EPO products in Spanish.
Remain agile and relevant during the full lifetime of LSST Operations by adjusting to
technology trends and changes in educational priorities.
Provide evidence-based evaluation of the LSST EPO program and publicly report
findings.
To achieve these responsibilities, the LSST EPO team will engage with a variety of audiences and
LSST partners to create powerful and easy-to-use digital tools for exploring a rich subset of LSST
data, enabling users of any background to engage with the Universe like never before.

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3
EPO Program Initiatives
To meet the needs of its different audiences, the EPO Program is organized into four initiatives.
Each initiative is intended to provide a different primary audience with the appropriate tools and
interfaces to engage with LSST data, and designed to achieve specific outcomes. This section
describes the goals, responsibilities, and desired outcomes the four initiatives, which are the EPO
Portal, formal education and data access, citizen science, and multimedia.
EPO Portal
The LSST EPO user experience is centralized at the EPO Portal, the online connection to all
initiatives described here. The EPO Portal will be mobile-friendly and available through a native
app (with expanded capabilities, like GIS and gyroscope positional awareness). The EPO Portal
features a homepage, Sky Viewer, Multimedia Gallery, the Education Hub, data access through
Science Notebooks, citizen science projects that use LSST data, real-time telescope status, and
contact and support information.
The Sky Viewer will allow users to pan and zoom around LSST Annual Data Release color co-add
images, enhanced with LSST Alert Stream-powered overlays and curated objects of interest like
visually interesting galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, supernovae discoveries, etc. Users will be
able to see limited information on all objects shown in the Data Release images, and will be able
to click through to informative Object Pages for those objects included within the EPO Data
Center (details of the subset of LSST data to be transferred to the EPO Data Center can be found
in LSE-131). Object Pages will contain available images, metadata, basic graphs (light curves, for
instance) and links to Science Notebook tools and activities, relevant citizen science projects,
external database links (JPL Horizons or CDS), and LSST multimedia resources. In this way, the Sky
Viewer allows for user-directed exploration and actively connects users to other features
throughout the EPO Portal that encourage deeper engagement.
Through the EPO Portal, the EPO Team will make the LSST Alert Stream meaningful and useful
for the public in several ways. LSST EPO will develop a broker to classify objects in the Alert
Stream (details to be determined during LSST Construction) and display these objects throughout
the Portal. In addition to overlays on the Sky Viewer, the EPO Portal homepage will show dynamic
counters of interesting Solar System objects, Supernovae, and other transient events of interest.
The EPO Team will generate listicles featuring data from the Alert Stream, that catalog interesting
discoveries
such as “The Top 10 closest asteroids detected by LSST” or “The most distant objects
in our Solar System found by LSST to date.” Such features are
quickly consumable, relevant, and
dynamic
a perfect fit for sharing on social media and encouraging repeat site visits by the public.
Throughout the EPO Portal, users will find articles about LSST discoveries, people involved (e.g.
scientists, engineers, developers, etc.), features on LSST science results, videos that introduce the

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general public to LSST and its science goals, and general astronomy concepts. Features about the
facility design and construction will also be available.
In addition, field research has shown that our audiences are strongly interested in what's
happening in real-time with the telescope -- the current weather, what it is viewing right now,
what is happening inside the dome, etc. In addition to the standard engineering facilities
equipment used for Commissioning and Operations, EPO will evaluate a number of devices that
could offer additional real-time metrics for the public, such as: an infrared (night-vision) camera
for the dome, a fisheye webcam for the dome, and a small (~16") telescope to mount on the LSST
support frame or the rotating pier base.
Evaluation of the EPO Portal will include using website analytics, surveys, and focus groups to
understand how outcomes are met. Website analytics, social media analytics, and a database of
community partners will be used to track who is using the EPO Portal and to ensure we are
reaching a diverse audience. In addition, LSST EPO will proactively test all facets of the EPO Portal
with diverse learners and those traditionally under-represented in STEM to ensure deliverables
remain relevant, accessible, interesting, and engaging to diverse audiences. We will achieve this
by working with community partners, minority-serving institutions, museums, libraries, and
recruiters to evaluate engagement with those audiences.
Intended outcomes of the EPO Portal are:
?
Increased awareness of LSST
?
Increased awareness of the breadth of the LSST survey
?
Increased awareness that the Universe is a dynamic place that changes on many
timescales
?
Increased awareness of opportunities to engage more deeply with an astronomy topic of
interest
Formal Education and Data Access
Direct access to the LSST public dataset, a subset of the total data generated by LSST, will be
gained through the EPO Science Notebook platform, which is also the foundation of the LSST
formal education program. The Education Team will work with a diverse group of educators to
develop authentic science experiences designed to improve the learner’s critical thinking and
evidence-based reasoning, data analysis skills, and complex problem solving abilities. These
online research experiences can be life-changing for many students, and spark a deep, lifelong
curiosity about discovery and science, while also improving science literacy and positive attitudes
about the role that science plays in society.

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The Education Team will develop easily adoptable and carefully sequenced classroom
investigations that foster meaningful student collaborations and afford access to a wide range of
LSST data. These investigations will be strategically chosen and designed to support the learning
of topics teachers already address, while supporting key aspects of the Next-Generation Science
Standards (NGSS) in the USA and goals of the Explora program through CONICYT in Chile.
Investigations will be tiered, moving from more teacher-directed to more student-directed, and
will be designed for students ranging from advanced middle school to high school level, and
college astronomy courses for non-science majors.
The Science Notebook investigation tools will allow educators to easily modify activities to meet
the needs of individual students, provide unique data samples to each student, combine the
results of all students for real-time discussion, and compare class results to other classrooms
around the region or world. Educators will gain access to the data, student investigation tools,
classroom activities, and critical teacher support materials through the Education Hub on the EPO
Portal.
To increase use and adoption of Education Hub activities in classrooms, the LSST Education Team
will investigate and prototype various professional development and support options for
educators, emphasizing science content knowledge and tools available to use. Professional
development will be carried out at professional society meetings and educator conferences,
made available online, and facilitated in collaboration with museum and library partners that can
offer effective professional development. Support will be made available in the form of FAQs,
training videos, and comments from other users through the EPO Portal.
The Education Team will develop a process for recognizing outstanding student or school
research efforts in order to generate and maintain a level of excitement and interest in using LSST
educational products. These distinguished participants may in turn serve as examples of what
can be accomplished for new users, and may inspire future directions for student research. The
publicity will also help to extend awareness of LSST science beyond the school into the broader
community.
Intended outcomes for educators are:
?
Increased awareness of LSST and its functionality for educational purposes
?
Increased confidence integrating LSST data into lessons
?
Increased awareness, knowledge, and skills regarding the use of online science
notebooks with their students
?
Improved content knowledge and confidence using online tools through professional
development activities

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Individuals outside of formal education, such as amateur astronomers, those involved in citizen
science campaigns, or casual EPO Portal visitors will also have access to LSST data and science
notebook tools. By using the science notebooks, the public can perform intuitive queries to select
objects that are of interest to them. Users can employ modules to perform work on these
objects, such as viewing images and performing simple photometry, or plotting energy outputs
at different wavelengths to determine the distance to objects or temperatures of stars. Activities
can be guided or performed independently, with the intention being to facilitate a pathway from
less-technical to more sophisticated interaction with LSST data.
To achieve this, EPO will collaborate with LSST Data Management during Construction to take
advantage of synergistic opportunities, while developing interfaces and the stable functionality
necessary for EPO audiences. For example, the
LSST Science Platform
will use the Jupyter family
of technologies to enable data analysis by the scientific community. EPO will leverage the Jupyter
modules, back-end infrastructure, and scripts developed for data analysis and then augment
them with a simplified user interface that is suitable for educators, students, and the public.
Intended outcomes for data access by the general public:
?
Improved knowledge of astronomy and science methods
?
Increased ability to access different types of LSST images and catalog data
?
Increased confidence in using data
?
Increased confidence and knowledge of basic coding
Throughout beta testing during LSST Construction, the formal education and data access initiative
will be evaluated using surveys, focus groups, and EPO Portal analytics to determine the extent
to which developed activities support stated outcomes. Enrollment information and feedback
on professional development prototypes will be monitored to ensure that a diverse audience is
reached and that an increasing number of teachers show interest.
Note: Without Internet-enabled devices, schools cannot participate in our science notebook-
powered education program. Our diversity goals include engaging underserved communities
that may not have the financial resources to provide enough devices to be able to participate in
our programming. Therefore, LSST EPO is planning to purchase a number of tablet devices with
the intention of loaning sets of them for short periods to educators that have demonstrated
sincere need and strong commitment by participating in our professional development program.
Citizen Science
Because of the size of the LSST dataset, some research projects will be impractical or even
impossible for individual researchers and their teams to accomplish. Citizen science allows
researchers to achieve desired science results by providing a platform which enables public

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volunteers to contribute to the project. LSST EPO has partnered with Zooniverse
3
, a popular
citizen science framework and hosting service, to leverage and increase the potential for citizen
science with LSST data.
The Zooniverse Project Builder
4
enables the LSST Science Community to develop citizen science
projects with tools that will be specifically designed by LSST EPO to utilize LSST data. Both the
annual data release catalogs and images (Level 2) and time domain alert stream (Level 1) data
products can be used for LSST citizen science.
By focusing on streamlining the integration of LSST data within the Zooniverse framework and
supporting self-service tools, LSST EPO will enable far more citizen science projects, and therefore
science results, than could be supported solely by LSST EPO.
To promote deepening scientific engagement, EPO Portal users will be guided to citizen science
projects relevant to the content they show interest in.
Connecting Science Notebook
investigations with citizen science projects will allow users (from students to the general public)
to further explore science topics of interest and contribute to real LSST research.
To assess the success of the citizen science initiative, LSST citizen science principal investigators
will be asked to document their project-building processes during the beta testing phase, and to
provide EPO with feedback which will be used
to enable improvements. Zooniverse’s analytics
for the public experience will be used to document participation rates.
Intended outcomes for the citizen science initiative are:
?
Awareness by the LSST Science Community of the opportunity to build LSST data-driven
citizen science projects using the Project Builder
?
Awareness by the LSST Science Community that they can use citizen science as a tool to
achieve their science goals
?
Increased skills by citizen science principal investigators at developing citizen science
projects
Multimedia for Planetariums and Science Centers
Each year, there are approximately 850 million visits to American museums
5
. These museums,
including informal science centers and planetariums, welcome diverse audiences and are trusted
sources of information for the public. LSST EPO will develop a library of digital multimedia assets,
3
https://www.zooniverse.org/
4
https://www.zooniverse.org/lab
5
http://www.aam-us.org/about-museums/museum-facts

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a deliverable that reaches the maximum number of centers with the lowest barrier for adoption.
The variety of video clips, images, and 3D models provided will enable content creators at these
institutions to freely incorporate them as they deem best, and will also be used throughout the
EPO Portal and Education Hub.
Multi-purpose media assets can also be used by educators or the general public when seeking
more information about a particular topic, or if interested in a 3D tour of the LSST facility, for
example. Another multi-purpose visualization we intend to develop is a 3D model of the solar
system which can be used in touch screen kiosks in science centers, by formal educators for the
Earth’s Place in the Universe
NGSS standard, and embedded in the EPO Portal.
LSST EPO user needs assessments so far reveal that Chilean science centers maintain a high
interest in content focused on the telescope facility in Chile. Therefore contracted effort will be
dedicated to capturing the construction of the telescope facility and then made available for use
in media assets targeted to Chilean science centers.
Planetarium full-dome video footage will follow the
IMERSA Dome Master
6
standards to
maximize compatibility with various dome styles, projection systems, and software products.
Image assets and flat-projection video footage (such as panoramas, sunset/sunrise, day/night
timelapse, and aerial drone) will support the
Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM)
7
standard
to facilitate easy searching, cataloging, and distribution via LSST’s digital asset management
system and the International Planetarium Society’s
Data2Dome
8
standard. Three-dimensional
models (potentially summit terrain, telescope structure and facility, mirror assembly, camera
assembly, etc.) will be distributed in OBJ
9
format, a common interchange format supported by all
the major CAD vendors.
LSST EPO envisions a fulldome projection of the LSST night sky and a subset of LSST's alert stream
data for overlaying event detection in near real-time. Event types of interest to planetarium
audiences might include: supernovae, asteroids, Near Earth Objects, comets, microlensing
candidates, and objects related to recent. With the large quantity of LSST alert stream data
available, the display could refresh as quickly as the planetarium operator desires. EPO will
contract with external multimedia specialists, video production firms, and visual effects
consultants to develop additional multimedia assets over time.
Intended outcomes for content developers at informal science education facilities are:
6
http://www.imersa.org/afdi-dome-standards-group
7
https://www.virtualastronomy.org/avm_metadata.php
8
http://www.data2dome.org/
9
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavefront_.obj_file

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?
Increased awareness of LSST
?
Increased awareness of
LSST’s
multimedia offerings
?
Increased awareness of the diversity of people working on LSST
?
Increased knowledge of the main science goals of LSST
?
Perception that LSST resources are easy to adopt
?
Perception that LSST multimedia assets are useful for programming
Web analytics and surveys of the informal science center community and other users will be used
to assess outcomes.
LSST Science Community
In addition, EPO will develop education and outreach opportunities that members of the LSST
Science Community can easily tie into. These opportunities, while aligned with NSF Broader
Impacts
10
criterion, will be available for the entire LSST Science Community to participate in.
Examples include:
1) Develop Jupyter modules,
2) Implement pre-cursor data into EDC,
3) Share networks (particularly with minority-serving institutions),
4) Expand EPO's network at strategic conferences/events,
5) Prototype citizen science projects with LSST data, and
6) Prototype EPO's professional development program.
10
https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2007/nsf07046/nsf07046.jsp

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4
EPO Data Center
All of the initiatives described above depend on making data available in a way that is responsive
to requests and easy for non-specialists to use. Therefore, a foundational component of the EPO
program is a scalable data center tuned to unique EPO audience needs.
Recent surveys have shown that almost half of web users expect a site to load in less than 2
seconds, and if a site isn’t fully loaded in 3 seconds, they leave.
11
In addition, the average
attention span of the general public has been shown to be 8 seconds
12
. Web users are much less
patient than astronomy researchers who are accustomed to batch processes, serialized data
loading, and visualization processing that can take minutes, hours, or even days.
Therefore, it’s
critical that the EPO Portal allows users to navigate quickly and smoothly around the platform.
Equally important, field research and evaluation performed by LSST EPO during Construction has
confirmed that target audiences will significantly interact with LSST EPO using mobile devices,
which will be accounted for in EPO interfaces and program options.
Another consideration for LSST EPO is that the user load and usage is unpredictable. Unlike
astronomy research, which has a relatively small and predictable user base with known access
patterns, demand for EPO products may grow quickly with word-of-mouth recommendations,
social media sharing, and general popularity. Accordingly, the EPO Data Center (EDC) will follow
agility best practices popularized by cloud computing, leveraging on-demand computing and
auto-scalable architecture.
The easiest way to conceptualize the role of the EDC within our program is to track data as it
moves from source to destination.
EPO data can be categorized as follows:
?
Alert stream:
real-time flow of text and image data
?
Animated images:
image data organized into time-series groupings with movie-like
playback
?
Color images:
ugrizy
co-added images combined to output RGB-like color images
?
Single-filter images:
co-added images from a single filter
?
Database:
tabular relational data
11
https://blog.kissmetrics.com/speed-is-a-killer/
12
https://advertising.microsoft.com/en/WWDocs/User/display/cl/researchreport/31966/en/microsoft-attention-
spans-research-report.pdf

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These data are obtained from the Data Access Center (DAC) at NCSA:
Table 1: EPO data received from the DAC
Data
Frequency
Derivative Source
Est.
Quantity
Est. Size
alert stream
nightly
Community broker
10 million
400 GB
animated images
nightly
Compressed Processed Visit
Image (PVI)-based images (for
animation)
1,000
2.8 TB
color images
annual
Annual Data Release co-add
images
sky
coverage
243 TB
single-filter images
annual
Annual Data Release co-add
images
sample set
1 TB
database subset
annual
Annual Data Release catalog
231 billion
rows
7 TB

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These data are then used by the following EPO products via required EDC infrastructure:
Table 2: Data Products that EPO will provide
Data
EPO Products
EDC Infrastructure
alert
stream
?
EPO Portal (Sky Viewer overlay and Object
Pages)
?
EPO Data2Dome
13
-compliant feed (for
planetarium fulldome display)
?
Database
?
Web server
animated
images
?
EPO Portal (Object Pages)
?
Compute
processing (for
adding new frames)
?
File storage
?
Web server
color
images
?
EPO Portal (Sky Viewer tiles and Object
Pages postage stamp)
?
Formal Education activities
?
Citizen Science
?
File storage
?
Web server
single-filter
images
?
EPO Portal (Object Pages postage stamps)
?
Formal Education activities
?
Citizen Science
?
File storage
?
Web server
database
subset
?
EPO Portal (Sky Viewer and Object Pages
metadata)
?
Formal Education activities
?
Database
?
Compute
processing (for
Jupyter)
By designing an agile, scalable infrastructure, EPO can meet our challenging and unique audience
needs while efficiently minimizing cost. As we develop these creative solutions, we anticipate
that our contributions and insights can benefit future EPO programs associated with big data
astronomy projects like the
Square Kilometre Array
(SKA) and thirty-meter class telescopes.
13
http://www.data2dome.org/

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5
Evaluation
The EPO evaluation plan will validate the efficacy of the EPO Design during LSST Construction,
verify EPO readiness during LSST Commissioning, and establish formative feedback on learning
experiences and assessment tools to be used during LSST Operations. Outcomes for each
initiative are identified and will be refined during Construction. Evaluation will be carried out at
the initiative level on the premise that if each initiative is successful, then EPO has successfully
fulfilled its purpose.
Formative evaluation during Construction will focus on answering the following question:
?
Do users find activities and deliverables intuitive?
?
Are activities and deliverables accessible to our core audiences?
?
Are audience needs being met?
?
What are short-term user outcomes as a result of using EPO deliverables?
?
Does the tested scope come in at-or under-cost estimates?
?
To what extent are activities sustainable through Operations?
?
How can we improve the activities to be more appropriate, efficient, effective, and
sustainable?
During Commissioning, EPO will actively test deliverables with key audiences to ensure they
achieve the EPO requirements listed in LSE-89, LSE-29, and LSE-30. Verification methods will
include deliverable-specific testing and evaluation. Examples include documenting that
deliverables (e.g. Sky Viewer) were created, testing systems (e.g. EDC, Project Builder), and
compiling evaluation results.
The feedback received during formative evaluation and the testing of deliverables will serve as a
baseline for summative evaluation during Operations. As part of formative evaluation,
assessment tools will be developed and refined for use during Commissioning and Operations.

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Table 3: Desired outcomes and key objectives with corresponding evaluation methods to validate success
EPO Deliverable
Desired Outcome / Key Objective
Evaluation Methods
EPO Portal
Serve LSST data to the general public
in an accessible way
?
Web analytics
?
Focus groups
?
Online feedback form
?
Web and social media surveys
Engage diverse audiences and those
traditionally under-represented in
STEM
?
Community partner surveys
?
Informal science center surveys
?
Focused recruiting interviews
?
Web analytics
Formal Education
Provide authentic science
experiences in the classroom using
LSST data
?
Web analytics
?
Focus groups
?
Online feedback form
?
Professional development
survey
Citizen Science
Allow easy creation of citizen science
projects with LSST data
?
Zooniverse analytics
?
Focus groups
?
Researcher surveys
Multimedia
Convey understanding of LSST science
goals
?
Participant surveys
Allow easy search and adoption by
content creators at informal science
centers
?
Standards compliance
?
Web analytics
?
Focus groups
?
Planetarium surveys
EPO Data Center
(EDC)
Meet load and performance
requirements identified in LSE-89 and
LSE-131
?
Load testing
?
Bandwidth testing
?
Unit testing
?
System testing
A summary of evaluation findings will be made publicly available. The LSST Project and Science
Community will receive appropriate summarized findings during talks at annual LSST Project
and Community workshops, presentations for the LSST Project Science Team, and other similar

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opportunities as they arise. Summarized findings may also be presented to relevant user
groups, such as teachers attending professional development workshops. Detailed findings will
be presented yearly to LSST Project Management.

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6
Staffing
To achieve these goals during LSST Construction, EPO will be staffed with content specialists
and technicians organized into three teams: Education, Outreach, and Technical.
All three teams will be based in Tucson at LSST Headquarters and led by the Head of EPO. The
Chile EPO Coordinator will be located at the base facility in La Serena, Chile and will work with
all three teams. LSST EPO will also work with other AURA EPO groups to incorporate best
practices and maximize efficiency.
The Education Team will develop structured online classroom activities using LSST data that
reflect national education priorities and are engaging for diverse educators and students. The
Education Team will be led by the Education Specialist who works with an Astronomy Software
Specialist, an evaluation specialist, a web developer, and a Senior Cloud Solutions Engineer to
ensure intuitive programs that run quickly, consistently, and do not exceed reasonable
bandwidth requirements for broad accessibility. The Education Team will work with the
Communications Team and members of the LSST science community to ensure educational
activities remain relevant and up-to-date with the latest LSST discoveries.
The Outreach Team will represent LSST EPO at events, document project progress as archival
footage for use in LSST Operations, and work closely with the Head of EPO to build and
maintain relationships with institutional partners and organizations serving underrepresented
groups in STEM. The Outreach Team will curate objects highlighted in the Sky Viewer and
develop written content throughout the EPO Portal. The Outreach Team includes a graphic
designer and a science writer, and works with members of the LSST science community.
The Technical Team is responsible for architecting, developing, and maintaining the EPO Data
Center and keeping the system relevant to technology and internet trends over the lifetime of
LSST Construction. The Technical Team will maintain and enhance EPO Portal features like the
Sky Viewer, Objects Pages, and Media Library. They will also coordinate with the LSST Science
Platform group, the LSST Data Facility (NCSA), and key technology partners to ensure data
integrity, seamless integration, scalability, and fast performance.
Note: EPO Support during LSST Operations is similar and is described in more detail in the LSST
Operations Plan (LPM-181).

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7
Appendix
Operational Readiness
There are three major phases of EPO:
1. Private Beta (Construction): using simulated and precursor astronomy data sets
2. Public Beta (Commissioning): using LSST ComCam data and simulated or precursor alert
stream data
3. General Availability (Operations): using LSST alert stream and production camera data
The full set of tasks for the Commissioning phase are defined in the LSST Commissioning Plan
(LSE-79), but here are some EPO highlights for reference:
1. Test network bandwidth and load between NCSA and EDC
2. Test loading nightly Processed Visit Images from NCSA, converting them to animated
images, and storing them in the EDC for web display
3. Test loading the public subset of annual catalog data into the EDC database
4. Test loading the color co-adds from NCSA into the EDC and converting to image tiles for
Sky Viewer display
5. Test science notebook platform and run queries against the EDC data
6. Test integration of Zooniverse Project Builder with LSST data sources
7. Test EPO portal at full load using simulated users
8. Verify informal science center access to EPO multimedia
9. Validate key use cases using small groups of actual users:
?
Usability testing of Graphical User Interfaces
?
Citizen Science using prototype projects
?
Classroom activity using science notebooks
?
Multimedia search and fulldome display
10. Test cybersecurity as defined in the EPO security plan (LEP-21, LEP-22)
LSST EPO will be declared ready for Operations at the successful completion of an Operational
Readiness Review (ORR) which will occur at the end of the Commissioning phase and will signal
the formal end of Construction for EPO.
Some key staff are expected to transition from
Construction to Operations while others will be hired to provide the necessary EPO management,
development, and support, as defined in the LSST Operations Plan (LPM-181).

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