Established by AAL in 2017, Astronomy Data and Computing Services (ADACS) is as a national initiative created for the benefit of all Australian-based astronomers, with the aim to assist in maximising their scientific return from data and computing infrastructure via training, support and expertise.

Participants at the March 2020 ADACS Retreat. Credit: Rebecca Lange.
An FRB travels from its host galaxy to Earth. ADACS is in the process of upgrading ASKAP’s infrastructure for finding and localising these events. Credit: ICRAR
Neutron Star merger (artist's impression). ADACS has taken a significant step towards localising the source of gravitational waves, in this case those produced by merging neutron stars, by optimising a standard gravitational wave analysis package which has helped to accelerate the research plans and capabilities of those studying these energetic events. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab.

The mission of ADACS is to provide astronomy-focused training in software development, data management, High Performance Computing (HPC) and advanced data analysis to Australian astronomers, to optimise the usage of, and increase value from, existing infrastructure. ADACS also aims to create and enhance astronomy data portals to facilitate the management, sharing and reuse of data via collaboration and/or partnership with national eResearch providers to help coordinate and maximise the computing and storage resources available to astronomers.

The current ADACS services contain three service components (SC):   

SC1: Training, which aims to provide expert training and support in software development, data management and HPC.  

SC2: National support, the key service here is data and computing expert services, which aims to embed data and computing experts in astronomy research teams to solve their data and computing challenges. Tasks range from cleaning up astronomy data to simplifying access to HPC, optimising data pipelines or other activities specified by astronomers. 

SC3: Access to national resources, which aims to ensure that sufficient storage and computing resources are available to Australian-based astronomers. 

BeatCOVID-19 support

In March 2019, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ADACS team assisted Swinburne University of Technology to develop and release their Symptom Tracker website: Soon after this, the Symptom Tracker was also released as an app. The Symptom Tracker is a system that allows users to log their health via a set of survey questions, and may help track the spread of COVID-19. 

ADACS is funded under the NCRIS Program via AAL and is delivered jointly by Swinburne University of Technology and Curtin University.