Optimization of the Observing Cadence for the Rubin Observatory Legacy
Survey of Space and Time: a pioneering process of community-focused
Vera C. Rubin Observatory is a ground-based astronomical facility under
construction, a joint project of the National Science Foundation and the U.S.
Department of Energy, designed to conduct a multi-purpose 10-year optical
survey of the southern hemisphere sky: the Legacy Survey of Space and Time.
Significant flexibility in survey strategy remains within the constraints
imposed by the core science goals of probing dark energy and dark matter,
cataloging the Solar System, exploring the transient optical sky, and mapping
the Milky Way. The survey's massive data throughput will be transformational
for many other astrophysics domains and Rubin's data access policy sets the
stage for a huge potential users' community. To ensure that the survey science
potential is maximized while serving as broad a community as possible, Rubin
Observatory has involved the scientific community at large in the process of
setting and refining the details of the observing strategy. The motivation,
history, and decision-making process of this strategy optimization are detailed
in this paper, giving context to the science-driven proposals and
recommendations for the survey strategy included in this Focus Issue.
Bianco, FB; Ivezić, Ž; Jones, RL; Graham, ML; Marshall, P; Saha, A; Strauss, MA; Yoachim, P; Ribeiro, T; Anguita, T; Bauer, FE; Bellm, EC; Blum, RD; Brandt, WN; Brough, S; Catelan, M; Clarkson, WI; Connolly, AJ; Gawiser, E; Gizis, J; Hlozek, R; Kaviraj, S; Liu, CT; Lochner, M; Mahabal, AA; Mandelbaum, R; McGehee, P; Jr, EHN; Olsen, KAG; Peiris, H; Rhodes, J; Richards, GT; Ridgway, S; Schwamb, ME; Scolnic, D; Shemmer, O; Slater, CT; Slosar, A; Smartt, SJ; Strader, J; Street, R; Trilling, DE; Verma, A; Vivas, AK; Wechsler, RH; Willman, B