Publication date: 22/09/2011

From July 2011 Calar Alto Observatory is providing its users and the general scientific community with a more efficient and safer data access, through a new in situ data archiving system. At the same time, the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB) has set up a system for Calar Alto data archiving compatible with the Virtual Observatory standard.

From 2008 the German-Spanish Astronomical Centre (CAHA) and the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB) have been designing, developing and implementing all the infrastructure needed for such a demanding service as a scientific data archiving system. The system is made from two pieces, one placed at the Observatory itself and another located at CAB.

The staff of the German-Spanish Astronomical Centre (dependent on the Spanish CSIC and the German Max Planck Siciety, MPG) has fully developed the system placed at Calar Alto. Once a certain time lapse has passed, the data are no longer the exclusive propriety of the scientists responsible for the original observing proposals and, then, the archiving system placed at Calar Alto makes them public on the one hand and, in the other hand, it automatically transfers them, through a secure connection, to CAB.

The system placed at the Centre for Astrobiology (dependent on the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research, CSIC, and the National Institute for Aerospace Technology, INTA) performs a series of quality tests on the observational data, to guarantee its integrity and coherence, before feeding it into a scientific archiving system that fulfils all the requirements of the Virtual Observatory standards (VO).

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