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Paper: CARMA Data Storage, Archiving, Pipeline Processing, and the Quest for a Data Format
Volume: 295, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XII
Page: 269
Authors: Plante, R.; Pound, M. W.; Mehringer, D.; Scott, S. L.; Beard, A.; Daniel, P.; Hobbs, R.; Kraybill, J. C.; Wright, M.; Leitch, E.; Amarnath, N. S.; Rauch, K. P.; Teuben, P. J.
Abstract: In 2005, the BIMA and OVRO mm-wave interferometers will be merged into a new array, the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). Each existing array has its own visibility data format, storage facility, and tradition of data analysis software. The choice for CARMA was to use one of a number of existing formats or devise a format that combined the best of each. Furthermore, it had to address three important considerations. First, the CARMA data format must satisfy the sometimes orthogonal needs of both astronomers and engineers. Second, forcing all users to adopt a single off-line reduction package is not practical; thus, multiple end-user formats are necessary. Finally, CARMA is on a strict schedule to first light; thus, any solution must meet the restrictions of an accelerated software development cycle and take advantage of code reuse as much as possible. We describe our solution in which the pipelined data passes through two forms: a low-level database-based format oriented toward engineers and a high-level dataset-based form oriented toward scientists. The BIMA Data Archive at NCSA has been operating in production mode for a decade and will be reused for CARMA with enhanced search capabilities. The integrated BIMA Image Pipeline developed at NCSA will be used to produced calibrated visibility data and images for end-users. We describe the data flow from the CARMA telescope correlator to delivery to astronomers over the web and show current examples of pipeline-processed images of BIMA observations.
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