Preparations underway for the CSIRO ASKAP Science Data Archive

A stock image showing a river of 1s and 0s flowing around a computer.

6 September 2013

While commissioning continues with the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, planning is also underway for a core computing component – the CSIRO ASKAP Science Data Archive (CASDA).

The Science Data Archive is one of three subsystems make up the computing components for ASKAP along with the Telescope Operating System (TOS) and the Central Processor.

The Science Data Archive is the primary point for storing, managing and sharing fully calibrated and science-ready data products. The subsystem will also provide the ASKAP Survey Science Teams with access to processed data products for analysis.

The CASDA development team includes individuals from CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) and CSIRO Information Management and Technology (IM&T).

According to Project Leader, Jessica Chapman, ASKAP will produce astronomy data at an unprecedented rate, and CASDA will push the envelope on the 'big data' paradigm. The CASDA team will consider the scalability and performance requirements that will be necessary to process and archive data products that ASKAP produce.

"One of the challenges we face is that ASKAP is still being commissioned, and the requirements for CASDA will increase with time," says Jessica, "We need to ensure there is flexibility in the design and architecture of the CASDA system to allow for ongoing developments."

Though currently still in early stages, a main focus for CASDA is to get a more detailed understanding of the requirements, uses cases, workflows, architecture and design of the forthcoming ASKAP system.

This first stage of the project will continue until the end of 2013.

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