Tech Talks

Tech Talks is a forum to connect the Rubin LSST software community, showcasing work by the broad Rubin software and archives community designed to enable LSST science. We hope it will provide a forum for a range of groups and authors to present, learn about, and discuss efforts of interest to analysis of LSST data.

Tech Talks are delivered virtually every second Thursday of the month at 10:00 a.m. Pacific [1:00 p.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. Chile (November and onwards through winter), and 7:00 p.m. Central European Time]. You can access it via Zoom at The recordings are publicly available generally within a week of the talk. Want to receive future seminar announcements?

Upcoming Talks

December 7, 2023 (Note: This is the first Thursday of the month)

  • Meg Schwamb and Kaylee de Soto will share the results from the first round of the LINCC Frameworks Incubator program.

    • [Meg Schwamb] Sorcha: A open-source LSST Solar System Simulator

      The Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will discover over 5 million new Solar System bodies. This is an order of magnitude more objects than are currently known today in each of the Solar System’s small body reservoirs. LSST will go beyond just discovery, with a 10-year baseline the survey will be able to measure broad-band optical colors and phase curves, and capture episodes of cometary activity, orbit changes, rotational breakup events, and rotational brightness variations. Planetesimals are the bricks and mortar left over after the construction of planets. Their compositions, shapes, densities, rotation rates, and orbits help reveal their formation history, the conditions in the planetesimal-forming disk, and the processes active in the Solar System today. LSST will transform our current view of the Solar System and let us peer back into the Solar System’s past like never before. The LSST Solar System Science Collaboration (SSSC) has identified key software products/tools that must be developed by the Rubin user community to achieve the planetary community’s LSST science goals. Near the top of the SSSC’s software roadmap is a Solar System survey simulator to enable comparisons of model small body orbital and size/brightness distributions to LSST discoveries.
      The goal of our LINCC Frameworks Incubator was to optimize and improve Sorcha, a modular python LSST Solar System Survey Simulator that takes a model Solar System small body population and uses the pointing history, observation metadata, and expected Rubin Observatory detection efficiency to output what LSST should find so that the numbers and types of simulated detections can be directly compared to the number and types of real small bodies found in the actual LSST survey. The Incubator has truly transformed our software package and made Sorcha, a powerful and fast source community-wide tool. In this talk, I’ll give an overview of Sorcha and update on the progress and successes for our incubator.

    • [Kaylee de Soto] Superphot+: a LINCC Frameworks Incubator Pipeline

      This talk introduces Superphot+, a new realtime classifier for supernovae discovered in the Zwicky Transient Facility alert stream. Superphot+ extracts summary features from supernova light curve data using a parametric model; these features are then used to classify events via a gradient-boosted machine. Superphot+ is available via pip and can be easily extended to LSST datastreams.

January 11, 2023

  • None (Overlap with American Astronomical Society meeting). Join us for our special session, Tuesday, January 9, 2024 | 2:00 PM CT – 3:30 PM CT.

Past Talks

The slides from previous talks can be found here.

November 9, 2023

September 14, 2023

  • Technical topics of common interest to Rubin and Roman by Knut Olsen & Harry Ferguson
  • Advanced Scientific Data Format by Perry Greenfield
  • Recording

July 13, 2023

June 08, 2023

  • Moving object image searches: a case study for metadata models by Stephen Gwyn
  • Recording

May 11, 2023

April 13, 2023

March 9, 2023

  • Jupyter and STScI: A Platform and a Tool (Erik Tollerund) & MAST: A Multi-Mission Archive by Susan Mullally) 
  • Recording

February 9, 2023

  • The TOM Toolkit: Observing platform for Rubin follow-up and recent upgrades for O4 by Rachel Street, William Lindstrom, Joey Chatelain
  • SkyPortal: A technical ecosystem enabling multi-messenger astrophysics by Josh Bloom, Michael Coughlin) 
  • Recording

January 26, 2023

  • Introducing the LINCC Frameworks Incubator series (LINCC team) 
  • Recording

December 8, 2022

November 10, 2022

  • Timeseries in Astronomy – Sunpy by Will Barnes
  • SER-SAG Periodicity pipeline Inkind contribution by Andjelka Kovacevic 
  • Recording

October 13, 2022

  • LINCC Frameworks Projects in Yr1: from bulk-data formats to photo-z testbeds by Jeremy Kubica and the LINCC team
  • Recording