In this project, we are collaborating with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on the development and maintenance of pipeline data reduction software for a number of their instruments at La Silla and Paranal observatories, and in the first instance those on the Very Large Telescope (VLT).
Data reduction aims to remove the telescope’s and instrument’s signature from the collected data, thus leaving only features which pertain to the astronomical objects to be studied. The data are also calibrated so that meaningful scientific measurements can be made and compared with data taken at different times and on other instruments.
The AAO has a long history of developing data reduction software for astronomical instruments, particularly in the context of 2dfdr, the flagship data reduction and analysis software which has been used for data from the AAT and UK-Schmidt telescopes for many years.
We now combine this expertise with the ANU RSAA’s software development experience in dealing with data and adaptive optics instruments, to form an Australian collaboration working on the first ESO software project of this kind.