Enabling Virtual Access to Latin-America Southern Observatories

FP7 Capabilities

2010/11/7-11 ADASS XX, Boston (US)

As part of the  Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XX (ADASS), hosted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA (USA), a poster titled Closing the observing loop across continents: data transfer between Chile and Europe was presented (also available as article).


R. Hanuschik, S. Zampieri, M. Romaniello, C. Ceron, A. Wright, C. Ledoux, F. Comeron


The different tasks supporting the operations of ESO telescopes in Chile are carried out at widely separated locations, with some taking place at the observatory site and others in Europe at ESO’s headquarters. A fundamental requirement to make such an operations scheme viable is the need for a stable way of transferring the large amounts of data generated by the telescopes to Europe on the shortest possible timescale. We review technical progress that has allowed ESO in the last years to move from the transfer of data on physical media, with delays of up to two weeks, to the current transfer of most of the data stream through the internet within hours. We also describe the possibilities that will be open in the near future with EVALSO, an European Commission co-funded project to provide full-fiber connectivity from the ESO observatory site on Paranal, and the nearby Cerro Armazones hosting the telescopes of the University of Bochum, all the way to Europe. Given the recent choice of Cerro Armazones as the future location of the European Extremely Large Telescope, upgrades in the communications infrastructure of Paranal and Cerro Armazones are very relevant to the ability to operate the current and future facilities there.