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Proceedings Paper

A case study in adaptable and reusable infrastructure at the Keck Observatory Archive: VO interfaces, moving targets, and more
Author(s): G. Bruce Berriman; Richard W. Cohen; Andrew Colson; Christopher R. Gelino; John C. Good; Mihseh Kong; Anastasia C. Laity; Jeffrey A. Mader; Melanie A. Swain; Hien D. Tran; Shin-Ywan Wang
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Paper Abstract

The Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) (https://koa.ipac.caltech.edu) curates all observations acquired at the W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) since it began operations in 1994, including data from eight active instruments and two decommissioned instruments. The archive is a collaboration between WMKO and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI). Since its inception in 2004, the science information system used at KOA has adopted an architectural approach that emphasizes software re-use and adaptability. This paper describes how KOA is currently leveraging and extending open source software components to develop new services and to support delivery of a complete set of instrument metadata, which will enable more sophisticated and extensive queries than currently possible.

In August 2015, KOA deployed a program interface to discover public data from all instruments equipped with an imaging mode. The interface complies with version 2 of the Simple Imaging Access Protocol (SIAP), under development by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), which defines a standard mechanism for discovering images through spatial queries. The heart of the KOA service is an R-tree-based, database-indexing mechanism prototyped by the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) and further developed by the Montage Image Mosaic project, designed to provide fast access to large imaging data sets as a first step in creating wide-area image mosaics (such as mosaics of subsets of the 4.7 million images of the SDSS DR9 release). The KOA service uses the results of the spatial R-tree search to create an SQLite data database for further relational filtering. The service uses a JSON configuration file to describe the association between instrument parameters and the service query parameters, and to make it applicable beyond the Keck instruments.

The images generated at the Keck telescope usually do not encode the image footprints as WCS fields in the FITS file headers. Because SIAP searches are spatial, much of the effort in developing the program interface involved processing the instrument and telescope parameters to understand how accurately we can derive the WCS information for each instrument. This knowledge is now being fed back into the KOA databases as part of a program to include complete metadata information for all imaging observations.

The R-tree program was itself extended to support temporal (in addition to spatial) indexing, in response to requests from the planetary science community for a search engine to discover observations of Solar System objects. With this 3D-indexing scheme, the service performs very fast time and spatial matches between the target ephemerides, obtained from the JPL SPICE service. Our experiments indicate these matches can be more than 100 times faster than when separating temporal and spatial searches. Images of the tracks of the moving targets, overlaid with the image footprints, are computed with a new command-line visualization tool, mViewer, released with the Montage distribution. The service is currently in test and will be released in late summer 2016.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 August 2016
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 9913, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy IV, 99130I (8 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231719
Show Author Affiliations
G. Bruce Berriman, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Richard W. Cohen, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Andrew Colson, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Christopher R. Gelino, California Institute of Technology (United States)
John C. Good, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Mihseh Kong, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Anastasia C. Laity, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Jeffrey A. Mader, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Melanie A. Swain, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Hien D. Tran, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Shin-Ywan Wang, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9913:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy IV
Gianluca Chiozzi; Juan C. Guzman, Editor(s)

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