SKA Science Data Challenges
To help them prepare to manage the transfer, processing and storage of such large amounts of data, the observatory has developed SKA Data Challenges. These challenges, taking place on a regular basis, aim to develop the techniques and skills required of both the users and the facilities for when SKA data begins to flow. As such, they will help ensure the community is prepared and can maximise the scientific potential of the SKAO’s data.
They are aimed not only at radio astronomers, but the broader astronomy, physics and computing spheres too.
Nine teams representing 12 institutions in 8 countries took part in the SKAO’s first science data challenge, which had them analyse nine high resolution images each 4GB in size simulating how the SKA-Mid telescope will see the radio sky at different frequencies and different exposure times.
Forty teams comprising 280 participants in 22 countries took part in the SKAO’s second science data challenge, which used a data set of 1TB - 300 times larger than in the first challenge. Because of that, rather than downloading the data to their personal computers, participants were given access to eight supercomputing partner facilities to process the data, mimicking the functioning of the observatory.