clients / case studies / non-profit

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope


Capture all facets of observatory operation in order to develop resource estimates


Program support, analyses and plans.



The 8.4-meter LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) will survey the entire visible sky deeply in multiple colors every week with its three-billion pixel digital camera, probing the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and opening a movie-like window on objects that change or move rapidly: exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, and distant Kuiper Belt Objects. Plans for sharing the data from LSST with the public are as ambitious as the telescope itself. Anyone with a computer will be able to fly through the Universe, zooming past objects a hundred million times fainter than can be observed with the unaided eye. The LSST project will provide analysis tools to enable both students and the public to participate in the process of scientific discovery. 

What did we do?

Captured the multi-layered complexity of all facets to the operation of the Observatory in order to derive resource type and allocation estimates for Observatory personnel

 How did we do it?

  • Using System Modeling Language (SysML), the system’s requisite use cases were derived through regular meetings with the project’s subject matter experts and refined through periodic Use Case reviews, both formal and informal, with other members of the project’s scientific and engineering leadership
  • Use Cases were created from the perspective of a comprehensive State Chart for the entire system, enumerating all the higher-level Use Cases for each discrete System State on a breadth-first basis
  • Each Use Case was fleshed out to the point where personnel type and allocation requirements could be confidently estimated
  • From the Use Cases, the underlying business model was developed, and will eventually be able to generate the base code for the core of the LSST’s Observatory Control System (OCS)

What was the result?

The LSST project successfully passed their design review milestone and received funding for the next phases.