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Paper: VLT Instruments Pipeline System Overview
Volume: 314, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIII
Page: 764
Authors: Jung, Y.; Ballester, P.; Banse, K.; Hummel, W.; Izzo, C.; McKay, D.J.; Kiesgen, M.; Lundin, L.K.; Modigliani, A.; Palsa, R.M.; Sabet, C.
Abstract: Since the beginning of the VLT operations in 1998, substantial effort has been put in the development of automatic data reduction tools for the VLT instruments. A VLT instrument pipeline is a complex system that has to be able to identify and classify each produced FITS file, optionally retrieve calibration files from a database, use an image processing software to reduce the data, compute and log quality control parameters, produce FITS images or tables with the correct headers, optionally display them in the control room and send them to the archive. Each instrument has its own dedicated pipeline, based on a common infrastructure and installed with the VLT Data Flow System (DFS). With the increase in the number and the complexity of supported instruments and in the rate of produced data, these pipelines are becoming vital for both the VLT operations and the users, and request more and more resources for development and maintenance. This paper describes the different pipeline tasks with some real examples. It also explains how the development process has been improved to both decrease its cost and increase the pipelines quality using the lessons learned from the first instruments pipelines development.
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