Featured image above: the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) by SKA Organisation
Cloud services – internet resources available on demand – have created a powerful computing environment, with big customers like the US Government and NASA driving developments in data and processing.
When building the infrastructure to support the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), soon to be the world’s biggest radio telescope, the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) benefitted from some heavyweight cloud computing experience.
When operational in 2024, the SKA will generate data rates in excess of the entire world’s internet traffic.
ICRAR used an international consortium of astronomers to conduct a survey with the Janksy-VLA telescope, employing AWS to process the data, and they are now trying to determine how the services will work with a larger system.
Head of ICRAR’s Data Intensive Astronomy team, Professor Andreas Wicenec, says there are many options from AWS.
“Things are changing quickly – if you do something today, it might be different next week.”
Quinn says cloud systems assist international collaboration by providing all researchers with access to the same data and software. They’re also cost-effective, offering on-demand computing resources where researchers pay for what they use.
– Laura Boness