A prototype SKA Science Regional Centre at the IAA

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the largest radio telescope on Earth, which will be able to make revolutionary contributions to Astrophysics, Astrobiology and Fundamental Physics. The participation of Spanish academic groups and industry in this project - which Spain joined in June 2018 - are coordinated by the IAA. The SKA will be composed of thousands of antennas distributed over distances of up to 3000 km, in both Africa and Australia, and it will generate a copious data flux (around 1TB/s) that will turn the task of extracting scientifically relevant information into a scientific and technological challenge. Each year the SKA Observatory will produce around 600PB of data products that will be delivered to worldwide distributed data centres –called SKA Regional Centres (SRCs)- that will provide access to the SKA data products, tools and processing power to generate advance data products. Hence the SRCs will play a key role in the exploitation of SKA data, providing the scientific community with the resources required to achieve the truly transformational science potential of the SKA. The capabilities that a centre should have in order to address this challenging task are currently being identified and they will constitute the required criteria to be accredited as an SRC. Among them, together with requirements related to storage and data processing capacity, functionalities related to the achievement of the scientific reproducibility and the fulfilment of the Open Science principles are also being discussed.

In this seminar we will describe our involvement in the design of the SRCs, how we are preparing for hosting an SRC at the IAA - one of the strategic objectives of the IAA Severo Ochoa programme - as well as potential benefits for the IAA and collaboration opportunities, such as the one already started with the PLATO team. We will conclude by illustrating the challenges associated with following Open Science principles with an example of their application to a scientific paper that our team is currently working on.

24/05/2019 - 11:30
Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro, Susana Sánchez, Michael G. Jones