19 May 2020

JIVE, the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry European Research Infrastructure Consortium (JIV-ERIC) provides support, conducts leading research and forwards technical development in the field of radio astronomy. One of the initiatives to which it gives its support is the European consortium for “Very Long Baseline Interferometry”, the European VLBI Network, (EVN), a worldwide network of radio telescopes which conducts unique observation of cosmic radio sources. These radio telescopes normally function individually for their specific projects. Under the VLBI umbrella, their data is combined together to provide the spatial resolution that would be achieved with a radio telescope of the size of the Earth. This technology has enabled many scientific discoveries, such as the recent localization of a repeating Fast Radio Burst in a spiral galaxy similar to our own.

This implies a considerable number of complex challenges, such as that of meeting the data processing requirements produced by this coordinated global network, which continues to increase worldwide.

ESCAPE is helping JIVE to work with its large data sets, improving their findability, accessibility, processing, and, ultimately, publication in a repeatable way.

An ESCAPE Catalogue of services to support science discovery

ESCAPE’s services support JIVE on a number of levels. To increase the findability of the data, JIVE will employ the ESCAPE Virtual Observatory (VO), which will make the EVN data findable through standard virtual observatory tools. In addition, JIVE will provide software enabling the reduction, calibration and imaging of VLBI data as a tool on the ESCAPE Open-source scientific Software and Service Repository (OSSR) in a containerized form, which makes the distribution to users easier.

The ESCAPE Science Analysis Platform (SAP) will link the data produced by JIVE (available on the ESCAPE VO) to the different kinds of software that can process it (ESCAPE OSSR). Multi-wavelength data processing and reduction will be easier and more efficient. This is due to the fact that the ESCAPE SAP will run software that analyses data available remotely and can process various types of data on the same platform.  An adequate level of security and control to access data from JIVE will be guaranteed by the “Authentication, Authorization and Identity Management” feature of the ESCAPE Data Infrastructure for Open Science (ESCAPE DIOS).

Increasing sustainability and efficiency in handling radio astronomy data

With the support of ESCAPE, EVN data will be findable to the world-wide community through standards tools. Furthermore, the analysis of these huge amounts of data will benefit from new software that enables data reduction, with the potential to improve this work if a better solution becomes available later on.

Over the coming months, preliminary containerized data reduction will be carried out, along with the testing and development of VO standards and search services.