The Dark Energy Survey

The Dark Energy Survey

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The Data Management System

The ground-based link of the DES data management system goes from La Serena to NCSA in Champaign via Miami.
Each DECam image is a gigabyte in size. The Dark Energy Survey will take about 400 of these extremely large images per night. This presents a very high data-collection rate for an astronomy experiment.

The data are sent via a microwave link to La Serena. From there, an optical link forwards them to the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) in Illinois for storage and "reduction". Reduction consists of standard image corrections of the raw CCD information to remove instrumental signatures and artifacts and the joining of these images into 0.5 square degree "combined images". Then galaxies and stars in the images are identified, catalogued, and finally their properties measured and stored in a database.

Data taken with DECam by astronomers during non-DES observing will be processed through the DECam Community Pipeline at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and made available for analysis.