Enabling Virtual Access to Latin-America Southern Observatories

FP7 Capabilities

Joint Research Activities

The general objective of this project is to make possible and validate new ways to interact with remote facilities by exploiting the new capabilities made available by high-bandwidth communications. Although the project will develop tools and demonstrators in the very specific environment of astronomy, it is envisaged that the same technologies, tools and know-how could be easily applied in other fields.

The project foresees three Joint Research Activities:

JRA1: Fast Data Access

Aim at drastically improve the time needed for making the data available from the moment of the physical observation. As of now this time is of several days (if not weeks) and makes the optimization of the observation time and on the feedback provided by the data quality assessment very difficult.

JRA2: Virtual Presence

Plans and produces the tools that could be used to make possible the virtual presence of scientists, engineers, and experts at remote facilities and, at the extreme, the possibility to perform remote observations. These tools are also used, in the framework of RUB activities, to demonstrate the possibility to use this technique to train students.

JRA3: New Observing Modes

Investigates and concept proves new observing mode made now possible by the availability of the fast link and the tools developed by JRA2. Remote presence, together with quasi real-time data availability techniques, will be an invaluable tool to boost the potential of observing unexpected events (‘Targets of Opportunity’). This scientific demonstrator will be used to evaluate the potentiality of this approach and to assess the usefulness of its introduction as a standard.

Each and all of the three activities  rely on a fast and reliable connection to Europe and, as a consequence, can start their full speed validation activity when the SA1 WP delivers the new infrastructure. Before that, planning and prototyping activities are carried-out, together with tests using the European existing communication facilities.