The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST; http://lsst.org
) is a planned, large-aperture, wide-field, 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 examining the nature of dark energy, to discovering “killer” asteroids.
The LSST will produce on average 15 terabytes of data per night, yielding an (uncompressed) data set of over 100 petabytes at the end of its 10-year mission. Dedicated HPC facilities will process the image data in near real time, with full-dataset reprocessings on annual time scale. Alerts to variable and moving objects, including Solar System objects, will be issued within 60 seconds of each observation. Detected sources will be linked into orbits, and new orbit catalogs published on a daily cadence.
In this talk, I will discuss the plans and challenges facing LSST for identification and linking of Solar System objects (asteroids, comets, KBOs, etc). Doing this efficiently has traditionally been a daunting task, one that the LSST plans to tackle through a multi-pronged approach ranging from highly controlled telescope designed, improved image differencing codes to enhanced linking algorithms.