SKA Regional Centres
The SKAO's staggering data rates mean that a simple "download here" option will not be appropriate - functionality to find, assess, manipulate and visualise SKA Data products needs to be made available to a global user community on shared computational resources.
To achieve this, the Observatory will be supported by a global network of SKA Regional Centres, or SRCs, distributed around the world in its member states. The Observatory is working with the international science community to develop these SRCs as a collaborative ecosystem - the SRCNet - with the ability to interoperate and support a paradigm where users (and their workflows) are sent "to the data" - irrespective of the location or nationality of the user - to avoid data movement bottlenecks wherever possible.
The SRCs will provide access to data products, platforms for advanced scientific analysis, and user support and training for astronomers using data generated by the SKA telescopes.
Over the next 6 years the functionality and capacity of resources offered in the global SRCNet collaboration will develop in readiness for full SKA Operations. There are three key ways of engaging and developing the community: firstly by collaborating in a global software development effort (through community-funded software development teams at national SRC projects); providing support to users of pathfinder and pre-cursor data and bringing these experiences to bear on the SRCNet system designs; and through supporting work done by participating teams in SKA Science Data Challenges - given an opportunity for community members to engage with simulated SKA data products and test their scientific workflows on these developing SRC platforms.