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Target steps up operations at the NL Euclid Science Data Center

17 February 2014
The Euclid Satellite exploring the dark universe (artist's impression) © ESA
The Euclid Satellite exploring the dark universe (artist's impression) © ESA

Six years from now, a satellite will be launched to carry out the Euclid mission. Euclid is a large collaborative initiative of more than 1000 researchers from over 100 institutes in Europe and the USA who seek answers to some of the most burning questions in modern astronomy and physics: what is the nature of dark energy and dark matter, and what role they play in the accelerating expansion of the universe. Target leads the national effort in solving one of the most challenging aspect of the project – the development of a massive distributed system for storage and processing of the Euclid data. A national Science Ground Segment Data center started its operations at the Donald Smits Center for Information Technologies (CIT) and will collaborate closely with ESA to achieve the demanding goals for the data handling of the mission.

In early 2013, a team of Dutch partners including Target set up the NL Euclid Science Data Center (NL-SDC) to support the Euclid mission after they received over 5 million euro funding from NOVA, SRON and the University of Groningen. The NL-SDC is located at the CIT in groningen and uses the hardware facilities and expertise of the Target project. Though 2020 might seem to reside quite far in the future, the NL-SDC is already bursting with activity. Members of the Target team are collaborating with ESA on the development of the Euclid Archive System. This system will manage tens of petabytes of space and ground-based data from the mission distributed over at least eight large data centers in Europe. A prototype of this archive, based on components of the Astro-WISE system developed by OmegaCEN/Target, is already operational and provides services to the Euclid Consortium.

To study dark matter and dark energy, Euclid will image over 10 billion galaxies over a period of 6 years. This data will be complemented by ground-based surveys measuring distances to these objects. The total volume of the Euclid data is expected to be about 30 petabytes. In addition to archiving these massive data volumes, the Euclid Archive System should efficiently process and analyze these heterogeneous datasets to extract reliable information about the structure and evolution of dark matter and dark energy. This makes the design and implementation of the system one of the main challenges of the mission that takes up about half of the resources of the European consortium. “The new NL Euclid Science Data Center and our active role in the Euclid Archive System is a great opportunity for the RUG and the North of the Netherlands to position themselves as knowledge hubs for large Big Data projects”, says the Target lead Prof. Edwin Valentijn.


Euclid Consortium:


Prof. Edwin A. Valentijn
Target/Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
Tel: +31 50 363 4011

Dr. Rees Williams
Target Scientific Project Manager
Donald Smits Center for Information Technology
Tel: +31 50 363 9719

The Euclid Consortium comprises more than 1000 scientists from over 100 institutes from Europe and the USA. Image Credit: Euclid Consortium
The Euclid Consortium comprises more than 1000 scientists from over 100 institutes from Europe and the USA. Image Credit: Euclid Consortium
Last modified:03 April 2019 07.19 a.m.

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