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Proceedings Paper

Managing science data in the virtual observatory era
Author(s): David Schade
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Paper Abstract

The Virtual Observatory (VO) movement is driven by the desire to deliver more powerful tools into the hands of research astronomers. The expectations of the scientists who use observing facilities and online services evolve year-to-year. A decade ago the observatory's data management responsibilities ended when the data were read out of the instrument and written to a disk at the telescope. Observers were satisfied to bring their own tape to the telescope, write the nights data onto the tape, and take it home. There are only a few major telescopes now that follow that procedure. It used to be standard practice for scientists to write major pieces of software to reduce and analyze data. That situation was revolutionized with IRAF (Tody 1986) data reduction software which was produced at an observatory and was tightly integrated with the instruments and observing procedures used at that observatory and at that time. Most observatories today have at least a primitive means of saving and protecting their data in an archive. In summary, science data management has evolved a great deal in the past decade. The VO movement is a reflection of this ongoing evolution.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2006
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6270, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems, 62700K (29 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671251
Show Author Affiliations
David Schade, Herzberg Institute of Astronomy, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6270:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems
David R. Silva; Rodger E. Doxsey, Editor(s)

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