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Paper: Spiders and Camels and Sybase! Oh, My!
Volume: 172, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VIII
Page: 245
Authors: Barg, Irene; Ferro, Anthony J.; Stobie, Elizabeth
Abstract: The Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS Guaranteed Time Observers (GTOs) requested a means of sharing point spread function (PSF) observations. Because of the specifics of the instrument, these PSFs are very useful in the analysis of observations and can vary with the conditions on the telescope. The GTOs are geographically diverse, so a centralized processing solution would not work. The individual PSF observations were reduced by different people, at different institutions, using different reduction software. These varied observations had to be combined into a single database and linked to other information as well. The NICMOS software group at the University of Arizona developed a solution based on a World Wide Web (WWW) interface, using Perl/CGI forms to query the submitter about the PSF data to be entered. After some semi-automated sanity checks, using the FTOOLS package, the metadata are then entered into a Sybase relational database system. A user of the system can then query the database, again through a WWW interface, to locate and retrieve PSFs which may match their observations, as well as determine other information regarding the telescope conditions at the time of the observations (e.g., the breathing parameter). This presentation discusses some of the driving forces in the design, problems encountered, and the choices made. The tools used, including Sybase, Perl, FTOOLS, and WWW elements are also discussed.
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