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Target Seminars 2012

Tim Florian Horn
Tim Florian Horn

Data Driven Science Vizualization

Speaker: Mr. Tim Florian Horn, Producer Climate and Earth Science Vizualization, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

Date: August 20th 2012, 15:00 - 16:00

Place: Donald Smitszaal, Donald Smits Center for Information Technology, University of Groningen

Seminar Poster
Seminar Poster

The Gaia Satellite and Data Processing

Speaker: Mr . William O'Mullane, Gaia Science Operations Development Manager at the European Space Astronomy Centre, ESA

Date: May 9th 2012, 13:30 - 15:00

Place: Donald Smitszaal, Donald Smits Center for Information Technology,  University of Groningen

If you missed the seminar, you can now watch a video recording of the talk.


Gaia is ESA's ambitious space astrometry mission the main objective of which is to astrometrically and spectro-photometrically map 1000 Million celestial objects (mostly in our galaxy) with unprecedented accuracy. The satellite will downlink close to 100 TB of raw telemetry data over 5 years. To achieve its required accuracy of a few 10s of Microarcsecond astrometry, a highly involved processing of this data is required. The data processing is a pan-European effort undertaken by the Gaia Data processing and Analysis consortium.

In this talk the satellite and science are introduced. The current state of the overall processing architecture involving six data processing centres and a large iterative data processing chain is described. Some of the challenges in the processing and some of the solutions which are being adopted are discussed. The fact that all software is written in Java shall be mentioned!

Short bio

William O'Mullane began his career in space science in 1993 when he joined ESA working on the SCOSII system. In 1996 he moved to ESTEC to assist with the production of the Hipparcos catalogue. During this period he was also involved with the Planck and Integral science ground segments as well as contemplating the Gaia data processing problem. From 2000-2005 Wil worked on developing the US National Virtual Observatory (NVO) and on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) in Baltimore, USA. In August 2005 he rejoined ESA as Gaia Science Operations Development Manager to lead the ESAC development effort for the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.

Last modified:04 January 2018 3.12 p.m.