The All-Sky Virtual Observatory

ASVO first deployed in 2014

The All-Sky Virtual Observatory (ASVO) v1.0 developed out of a partnership between Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL), Swinburne University of Technology (SUT)the Australian National University (ANU), the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), Intersect Australia Ltd, and sponsor National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR), aimed at linking large-scale observational and theoretical datasets within a single Virtual Observatory. asvo logo

ASVO is part of AAL's longer-term vision to develop a Federation of National Astronomy Datasets, in which a central facility will house an infrastructure development and research support team to build services and provide on-going support for astronomers, to enable widespread access to radio, optical, and theoretical data and facilitate the upcoming needs of data intensive research. Intersect Australia Ltd was commissioned by AAL to conduct a Concept Design Study to articulate this vision. ASVO v1.0 represented the first step towards that vision, bringing together two nationally-significant data hubs, chosen after braod consultation with the Australian astronomy community:

  • The Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory (TAO), developed at Swinburne University of Technology and launched in March 2014, houses a growing ensemble of theory data sets and galaxy formation models. TAO is unique in providing value-add post-processing tools, such as custom telescope simulators, which take advantage of Swinburne's astronomy-dedicated supercomputering allocation to optimise performance. 
  • The SkyMapper Node at ANU/NCI provides an integrated and comprehensive environment for the hosting, analysis, and exploration of the SkyMapper Southern-Sky Survey, which will comprise the most detailed and sensitive digitized map of the southern sky at optical wavelengths. Users are invited to explore the science-grade SkyMapper Early Data Release.

In addition, we are in the early stages of designing and developing the following two new Nodes:

  • The Murchison Widefield Array Node (in design phase) will provide access to key data products from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) official precursor radiotelescope, the MWA. Operational since mid-2013, MWA has already collected over 10 petabytes of data and is making new science discoveries due to its unique wide-field view of the Universe at the low-frequency end of the radio spectrum.
  • The Anglo-Australian Telescope Node (v1.0 to be deployed in late 2016) will provide access to a growing collection of key AAT optical datasets, ranging from imaging to integral-field spectroscopy.

ASVO has received support from the Australian Commonwealth Government through National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR), the Education Investment Fund (EIF), the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), and the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).

Key Contact

Dr Yeshe Fenner, AAL

Overview of ASVO design