This January, the Springer journal Experimental Astronomy published a topical issue on the Astro-WISE information system, developed and maintained by the OmegaCEN group, one of the main partners in the Target project. The fundamental concepts for data management and processing laid down for Astro-WISE constitute the foundation principles of the Target-developed WISE technology.
The Experimental Astronomy is one of Springer's journals dedicated to publishing peer-review articles, letters and reviews on research and development of instrumentation, detection methods, data analysis and image processing techniques for astronomical observations. At times, the journal publishes special issue providing in-depth coverage of topics or projects of high relevance to the field. And the field of experimental astronomy has recently seen a sharp increase of very data-intensive projects in optical and radio astronomy run at an international level with, sometimes, hundreds of scientists collaborating and sharing data generated by telescope facilities scattered around the world. As a response, the journal published a special topical issue in January featuring nineteen papers authored or co-authored by OmegaCEN/Target members on the principles and applications of the Astro-WISE system.
The Astro-WISE was created to tackle the issue of adaptability and flexibility of information systems for data processing in astronomy. Today, data is mostly pushed to the end user (researchers and scientists) through standard pre-defined pipelines (series of processing algorithms). The Astro-WISE system utilizes a data model, extreme data lineage and a technique called "backward chaining" such that processing algorithms and pipelines constantly evolve based on the feedback from the scientific user community. Data products are generated by tracing back the data product dependencies and reprocessing only those intermediate products which are outdated because of a change in (i) processing algorithms, (ii) improvement in a calibration method, and/or (iii) raw data from which they were created. With the expected avalanche of data, the Astro-WISE system offers intelligent and efficient data management and processing for big data sets. Moreover, the system offers an integrated environment suitable for collaboration between geographically distributed data facilities and users.
The Astro-WISE information system was developed for the wide-field imager OmegaCAM mounted on the VST telescope at ESO's site in Paranal, Chile. Data from OmegaCAM and multiple other telescopes is currently ingested with, managed by and accessed through Astro-WISE.
Experimental Astronomy - Topical Issue: Astro-WISE on Springer
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