NEWS - PRESS RELEASE 02/15/2011
Objects in Space.
–The biggest data processing challenge to date in astronomy:The Gaia mission.–
Interview with William O`Mullane, Science Operations Development Manager at the European Space Agency, and Vik Nagjee, Product Manager Core Technologies at InterSystems
San Francisco/Frankfurt, February 15, 2011. -- Roberto V. Zicari, Editor of the Web portal
odbms.org (www.odbms.org) interviewed William O`Mullane, Science Operations Development Manager at the European Space Agency, and Vik Nagjee,
Product Manager Core Technologies at InterSystems Corporation, both involved with the proof-of-concept for the data processing and storage part of the Gaia project.
The European Space Agency plans to launch in 2013 a Satellite called Gaia.
The Gaia mission is considered by the experts “the biggest data processing challenge to
date in astronomy“.
The interview gives insight into the design and results
of the proof-of-concept
conducted by the European Space Agency together and InterSystems Corporation using Caché
for the AGIS database.
"Gaia is ESA’s ambitious space astrometry mission, the main objective of which is
to astrometrically and spectro-photometrically map 1000 Million celestial objects (mostly in our
galaxy) with unprecedented accuracy.
The satellite will downlink close to 100 TB of raw telemetry data over 5 years"
explains William O`Mullane.
Commenting on the main technical challenges with respect to data processing,
manipulation and storage this project, Vik Nagjee says "the sheer volume of
data that is expected to be captured by the Gaia satellite poses a technical
challenge. For example, 1 billion celestial objects will be surveyed, and roughly
1000 observations (100*10) will be captured for each
object, totaling around 1000 billion observations."
All Gaia data processing software is written in Java. A specific part of the Gaia
data processing software is the so called Astrometric Global Iterative Solution (AGIS).
"The AGIS database will contain data for roughly 500,000,000 sources
(totaling 50,000,000,000 observations). This is roughly 100 Terabyte of
Java data objects", says William O`Mullane.
"We were able to ingest 5,000,000,000 AstroElementary objects (roughly 1/10th of the
eventual projected amount) in around 12
hours. Our target was to ingest this data within 24 hours, and we were successful
at being able to do this in 1/2 the time" explains Vik Nagjee.
William O`Mullane, Science Operations Development Manager, European Space Agency.
William O’Mullane has a background in Computer Science and has worked on space science projects since 1996 when he assisted with the production of the Hipparcos CDROMS. During this period he was
also involved with the Planck and Integral
science ground segments as well as contemplating the Gaia data processing problem. From 2000-2005 Wil worked on developing the US National Virtual Observatory (NVO) and on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) in Baltimore, USA. In
August 2005 he rejoined the European Space Agency as Gaia Science Operations Development Manager
to lead the ESAC development effort for the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.
Vik Nagjee, Product Manager, Core Technologies, InterSystems Corporation.
Vik Nagjee is the Product Manager for Core Technologies in the Systems Development group at InterSystems. He is responsible for
the areas of Reliability, Availability, Scalability, and
Performance for InterSystems’ core products – Caché and Ensemble.
Prior to joining InterSystems in 2008, Nagjee held several positions, including Security Architect, Development Lead, and head of the performance & scalability group, at Epic Systems Corporation, a leading healthcare application vendor in the US.
The full interview is available at the ODBMS Industry Watch Blog
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Content is provided by a panel of internationally recognized experts, who share research articles and teaching materials with the community via the organization's Web portal.
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