Presentation #110.02 in the session “Asteroid Surveys in the Era of LSST”.
The Vera C. Rubin Observatory will carry out the 10-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) to constrain dark energy and dark matter, map the Milky Way and Local Volume, explore the transient and variable optical sky, and catalog small bodies throughout the Solar System. The core science drivers lay out some minimal survey requirements; the primary survey area of 18,000 square degrees must be observed with at least 825 visits per pointing. Beyond these very basic requirements, there is great flexibility in defining the implemented survey strategy. Some key questions include the location of these 18,000 square degrees, the timing of those 825 visits, and what to do with the remaining available time. The LSST Solar System Science Collaboration (SSSC) has provided guidance on solar system specific goals in their Science Roadmap (Schwamb et al 2018), and has worked with the LSST Survey Strategy team to implement metrics to evaluate realistic simulated observing histories generated by the team. These metrics revolve around discovery of small body populations throughout the solar system, with secondary goals including characterization metrics evaluating color and lightcurve measurement and detection of activity or outbursts. We will present these metrics and the resulting evaluation of various survey strategy options, which include variations on the survey footprint, visit timing, and additional mini-surveys such as a twilight survey for Near Earth Objects. In the time remaining before the start of operations (no earlier than October 2022), the LSST Survey Cadence Optimization Committee (SCOC) will use these evaluations together with those from other areas of the scientific community to come to recommendations on the initial survey strategy for the LSST.