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NASA Data Center Annual Program Plan

Program Year: FY 2001 
Data Center/Service: Multi-mission Archive at Space Telescope (MAST)
(Optical/UV Science Archive Research Center) 
Supporting Organization: Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218

Overall Mission:  MAST supports both active and legacy mission data sets, focusing primarily on data in the ultraviolet, optical, and near-IR parts of the spectrum.  Support includes curation of the data, providing expert support to users of the data, providing access to data-specific calibration and analysis software, providing user support for this software, and maintaining public access interfaces to the data.  MAST works with new mission teams in the supported wavelength regions to assist in the development of data management plans, especially in the areas of data formats, descriptive metadata and standardization of keywords, and in the development of data access and data delivery plans.

MAST Data Holdings

Name Size # Observations Active Mission Duration
IUE Final Archive 472 GB 102,510 1978-1996
IUE SIPS 163 GB 102,510 1978-1996
ASTRO-UIT   56 GB 1,579 Dec. 1990; March 1995
ASTRO-HUT/WUPPE     2 GB 960 Dec. 1990; March 1995
Copernicus     1 GB 551 targets 1972-1981
EUVE   90 GB 1289 1992-2000
HST 8.1 TB 300,000 1990-
FUSE 93 GB 5414 June 1999-
Digitized Sky Surveys  ~5 TB  N/A 1950-56, 1975-83, 1992-99
ORFEUS-BEFS 1.6 GB 109 Sept. 1993; Nov. 1996
ORFEUS-IMAPS 0.3 GB 643 Sept. 1993; Nov. 1996

Services Provided:  MAST provides support for users seeking to understand the properties and instrumental signatures of all archived data sets and assistance with the interfaces to browse and retrieve these data.  Access to non-HST mission and instrument specific calibration and analysis software, and assistance in its use, is on a best-effort basis (full support for HST related software is provided by the MAST Helpdesk and staff).

Non-HST Data Analysis Software Provided:  IUE RDAF package (IDL-based), IUE Final Archive processing software (IRAF port), EUVE analysis software package (IRAF-based), Copernicus data analysis software (IDL-based), UIT data reduction and analysis software (FORTRAN, C, and IDL routines),  WUPPE data analysis software (FORTRAN routines requiring the FITSIO library), and HUT data reduction software (IRAF-based). IDL software for analyzing IMAPS images will also be made available in the near future.

Mission Interfaces:  Ingest of FUSE mission data began in July 1999. Contacts have been established with the GALEX MIDEX mission team, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the CHIPS UNEX mission team. MAST staff have developed working relationships with staff from all three of the instrument teams from the ORFEUS Project and with members of the Voyager UVS team.

Interoperability Activities:  MAST and STScI staff have worked on development and testing of the Astrobrowse prototype "Starcast".  The MAST web site has search pages and direct links to data retrievals at other astrophysics data centers (EUVE, ROSAT, and ASCA at HEASARC) and provides an interface that enables other sites to send queries to the MAST database.  MAST collaborates with the ADS to provide links to published papers referencing specific data sets and links from the ADS abstracts to the archived data. MAST staff also serve on the Astrophysics Data Center Coordinating Council.

Major Activities and Accomplishments of the Past Year:

MAST began the public distribution of data from its automated CD jukebox system in October 1999. Staff members completed the migration of data acquired from GSFC (ADF, NSSDC, and LASP) onto CD-ROMs, including IUE Final Archive data, IUESIPS, ASTRO-UIT, ASTRO-HUT, ASTRO-WUPPE, and Copernicus. The data were verified and where necessary FITS formats were corrected. Data from IMAPS and BEFS instruments from the first ORFEUS mission were obtained and integrated into the archive.

MAST has maintained and enhanced its web site for all the missions it supports. Each mission's web interface provides the capabilities to search the database, preview the data, and retrieve selected data, as well as access to available documentation and software. Preview data for IUE and UIT were obtained from the ADF and adapted for the MAST website. Preview data for the HUT, BEFS, and EUVE missions were created and made publicly available.

With the launch of FUSE in September 1999, MAST began archiving FUSE data and distributing copies to the guaranteed observers and guest observers. In February 2000, the first public FUSE data were made available. Staff members worked with software specialists and FUSE team members to smoothly integrate FUSE archive activities and support into the existing HST DADS system. This approach provides reliable, cost-effective archival support to researchers through a familiar interface.

MAST staff have implemented a system of links between MAST datasets and publications in the scientific literature. The links, provided in cooperation with the ADS, allow researchers to  access the published abstracts and articles resulting from analyses of our datasets, and vice versa. All IUE links are currently up to date. Links between HST programs and their resulting publications are complete from 1990 through 1995 and for all of 2000. Links to the information for the remaining HST programs and the other supported MAST missions are expected to be completed in the near future. (The HST literature effort is funded separately).

MAST staff completed a number of smaller projects which provide enhanced support to archival researchers.

  • Specific sets of Chandra/EUVE coordinated data were received from the EUVE project and made available to the user community.
  • Web-based search forms for HST and FUSE abstracts were implemented, allowing users to query proposal abstracts.
  • VLA FIRST survey data were migrated from the DADS system to the MAST jukebox, making the data more visible and easily accessible to users.
  • IUE observing scripts and newsletter articles were scanned and made accessible from the web site.
  • Almost 500 problem IUE images were corrected and processed for the first time through NEWSIPS, augmenting the IUE Final Archive.
  • The IUEDAC analysis software was upgraded and made Y2K compliant.
  • The study of wavelength systematics for IUE high-resolution data has been completed, finding no significant errors.
  • A redesign of the MAST web site was initiated to improve and standardize the user interface, to accomodate new capabilities, and to make data and information easier for the user to find.

MAST Data Ingest Activity
Date Data Volume (GB) # Files
Jun 1999 39.9 91366
Jul 1999 25.3 42381
Aug 1999 22.3 37394
Sep 1999 0.0 0
Oct 1999 3.9 3027

MAST Data Retrieval Activity

Date Data Volume (GB) # Files
Jun 1999 0.4 117
Jul 1999 0.7 139
Aug 1999 0.8 157
Sep 1999 0.8 59
Oct 1999 2.2 4966
Nov 1999 5.5 5915
Dec 1999 3.5 5956
Jan 2000 3.0 24578
Feb 2000 3.0 9104
Mar 2000 4.3 10548
Apr 2000 2.6 8731
May 2000 1.7 5967

Plans and Schedule for the Coming Year:

MAST plans to continue to enhance the interoperability and scientific utility of our data holdings in the coming year through activities in the following areas.

Improved services for archival researchers

  • Redesign the MAST website to improve capabilities and navigability. The format and organization of the website will be revamped to permit users to more easily locate the information and data they need. New technologies, including Java and object-oriented databases, will be incorporated to improve search engines, handle very large databases, provide new interactive research tools, and promote interoperability.
  • Provide new interactive, web-based research tools. Planned capabilities include a "spectral scrapbook" tool which displays representative spectra for a given object from the various MAST missions and the ability to display and customize one or more selected spectra for detailed evaluation.
  • Enhance the documentation already available for each of the missions, by consolidating key pieces of information  (e.g. data uncertainties, what file types are useful for various types of science). This information will be placed in an on-line MAST Data Handbook and serve as a central source for more detailed information.
  • Continue to provide assistance for archival researchers with questions about searches, retrievals, data characteristics, analysis software, and other issues related to MAST data.
Additional ultraviolet and optical data sets
  • Incorporate additional ultraviolet and optical data sets, including BEFS and IMAPS data from the second ORFEUS mission, data from the ORFEUS Tübingen Ultraviolet Echelle Spectrometer experiment, data from the Voyager UVS experiment, and FUSE.
  • Work with new astrophysics mission projects, including the GALEX SMEX project and the CHIPS UNEX mission team, to assure access to these data sets via MAST and to help them develop plans for data delivery and long-term data access.
  • Operate the public science archive for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Negotiations presently in progress. Funding for SDSS public science archive will require an augmentation to the current MAST budget.
Improved interoperability with other astrophysics data services
  • Provide inter-archive access to new spectral data display tools.
  • Continue leadership of literature link project through participation in ADCCC working group. Establish guidelines for electronic data identification standards.
  • Help define the equivalent of a "world coordinate system" (wcs) for spectral data to enhance inter-archive utilization of common tools.
  • Participate in incorporation of GLU protocols to enhance inter-archive query exchanges.
  • Participate in the conceptual development of the planned Virtual Observatory.
  • Continue active participation in the ADCCC.