Astrophysical Research Consortium

To maximize the sustainability of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data archive

  • Amount $731,000
  • City Seattle, WA
  • Investigator Michael Blanton
  • Year 2017
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey

The SDSS data management structure, software, and interface has been on the frontier of astronomy since it was developed in the early 2000s. Many leading astronomical data centers use, integrate, and rely heavily on SDSS data, and these data are routinely accessed by amateur astronomers, students, and the public. This grant provides support to upgrade two back-end components of the SDSS data archive. The first is the Science Archive Server (SAS), housed at the University of Utah. SAS includes SDSS’s raw and calibrated images, and the SDSS spectrum files, all of which are primarily used by professional astronomers. The second is the Catalog Archive Server (CAS), hosted at Johns Hopkins University. CAS contains the primary catalog data and all metadata extracted from the raw images and spectra. CAS helps to facilitate research from astronomers both within and outside of the collaboration, as it serves as the primary link between SDSS data and other data sets in astronomy. In addition to modernizing and expanding the core functioning of these two systems, the upgrades will help improve the integration of SDSS data with broader outreach and public education efforts, including better connections with SDSS Voyages, the newly developed web portal devoted to public engagement.

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