University of Hertfordshire

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Description

Support for UK involvement in LSST, through funding the LSST:UK Science Centre (LUSC), can generate societal and economic impact under the following five headings:

1. Enhancing the research capacity, knowledge and skills of enterprises working on "Big Data" issues being incubated within the Higgs Centre for Innovation.
The Phase B LUSC Data Access Centre workpackage is co-located on the Royal Observatory Edinburgh campus with the Higgs Centre for Innovation, which is being funded to improve interaction between academia and industry in Space and Big Data, and to enhance economic impact in those two domains. We shall exploit that co-location to ensure that Big Data innovations within the LSST project in the US filter through to UK SMEs and that the challenging requirements of LSST inspire the development of novel Big Data techniques and technologies within the UK, as has been the case in the US.

2. Increasing public engagement with research through Citizen Science initiatives. The LSST:UK Consortium will develop a Citizen Science platform based on the pioneering Zooniverse project, which currently has more than one million users doing real science online. Computational advances between now and the start of LSST operations will enable Citizen Science activities that greatly exceed what is currently possible, and perhaps most exciting is the prospect of involving Citizen Scientists in the classification of the million or more transient alerts that LSST will generate per night, placing the public at the heart of
LSST's pioneering exploration of time-domain astronomy.

3. Enhancing cultural enrichment and quality of life through education & outreach activities. The LSST:UK Consortium institutions have a wealth of experience in education and public outreach (EPO) activities, from running Open Days and exhibitions to CPD courses for school teachers to Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). During Phase B we will develop an EPO programme, in conjunction with the very active LSST EPO team in the US.

4. Enhancing the research capacity, knowledge and skills of organisations through the employment of researchers with high-level expertise derived from working on LSST. Over the 18-year lifetime of the LUSC programme, many students (e.g. from the STFC data intensive science CDTs) and postdocs who have developed high-level expertise from working on LSST will pass from astronomy to the commercial sector, taking their valuable knowledge and skills with them. Particularly valuable will be the computational and statistical skills that will be readily applicable to the Big Data challenges prevalent in the
public and private sector, and the expertise in thick CCDs developed through UK
involvement in the LSST camera team.

5. Wealth creation, through the placing of construction contracts with UK companies. The detector characterisation work started during LUSC Phase A, and proposed for continuation during Phase B, has included liaison with a UK company that has now signed a large contract to supply roughly half of the LSST detectors.
StatusActive
Period1/07/1931/03/23

ID: 16917984