Driving Technological Innovation
To develop a comprehensive and sustainable design for a European Science Data Center (ESDC)for the SKA, the AENEAS team will work closely with academic and industry providers of hardware, middleware, and software infrastructure required for the ESCD. We will
- assess the suitability of HPC, cloud and distributed computing technologies and will test different concepts using SKA pathfinder and pre-cursor facilities
- assess the feasibility of transporting data from the SKA host countries to Europe - and between the nodes of the distributed ESDC
- assess available federated service management processes and tools to handle a distributed web of datasets, applications, publications, computing resources, etc.
- assess the interoperability across multiple service providers (both from the community and generic/shared e-Infrastructure services).
Our findings will be valuable for both academic and commercial infrastructures and provide a set of recommendations which can be used as a basis for further innovation in compute, network and storage technologies.
Accelerating Scientific Discovery
To handle the staggering data volumes expected from the SKA Observatory, SKA Regional Centers will require a complex e-infrastructure that can become a significant deterrent to researchers who want to engage with the data, thus slowing or complicating the discovery process. This analysis bottleneck has already been observed with SKA pathfinder instruments such as the LOFAR telescope, and will also be an issue for the SKA site precursor instruments MeerKAT and ASKAP.
When developing the design of the European Science Data Center for the SKA, AENEAS primary goal is to offer astronomers a flexible and intuitive analysis environment that allows them to define their own work flows while supporting the extreme data volumes and processing requirements that SKA data entails. This should not only lead to an accelerated scientific discovery but also allow a wider scientific community to engage with SKA data. For the SKA Observatory, this translates into higher scientific impact. For the funding bodies which support the SKA, it means a higher return on their investment.
The AENEAS project recognizes that the level of infrastructure and resources necessary to enable SKA science within Europe exceeds what can reasonably be dedicated to a single instrument or even a single research domain. The AENEAS design of the European Science Data Center for the SKA will therefore integrate and build upon current network and computational resources offered by European and Global e-infrastructure projects such as GÉANT, the Virtual Observatory (VO), the EGI federation, the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and more.
To ensure the compatibility of the AENEAS design within a shared e-infrastructure, the project is also fostering collaborations with the scientific computing communities from other data intensive research domains including the Worldwide LHC Compute Grid (WLCG) http://wlcg.web.cern.ch.