IBM Creates Data Management 'Software Architecture' for Astronomers

IBM has successfully built a prototype of a "software architecture" to help astronomers work with huge amounts of data delivered by the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope.

This SKA telescope program is capable of performing amazingly accurate observations of various radio sources in the sky - by a set of aerials and dishes that will be built either over New Zealand or Australia or even Southern Africa depending upon the winner of a competitive bid.

Information Intensive Framework (IIF) of IBM allows a certain amount of automatic classification of astronomical objects in accordance with a standard ontology.

Chief technology officer of IBM New Zealand and also chair of the NZ SKA Industry Consortium, Dougal Watt, said that this project has, "taken knowledge that's inside the head of an astronomer and put it into this system; so you can do automatically some of the things that an astronomer can do manually," as reported by Computer World.

Watt also added, "The point is to make astronomers more efficient and productive, so they can spend time being creative."

This latest system has been developed with help from Radio-astronomer Melanie Johnston-Hollitt at University of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand.