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NASA Data Center Annual Program Plan

Program Year:   FY 2000

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 archival 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 (WWW).  MAST works with new mission teams in the supported wavelength regions to assist in the development of Project 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   80 GB >600 1992-
HST 6.4 TB 300,000 1990-
FUSE 540 GB (est.) N/A launch in June 1999
Digitized Sky Surveys  ~5 TB  N/A 1950-56, 1975-83, 1992-99

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 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 will begin this summer (assuming the June launch proceeds on schedule). Contacts have been established with the GALEX MIDEX mission team and 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.  Delivery of the initial set of ORFEUS data is expected within the next few months.  Public access to UVS data is also expected within the next few months.

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 providis an interface that enables other sites to send queries to the MAST database.  MAST utilizes an AEQ interface at GSFC Astronomical Data Center to provide transparent access to astronomical catalogs in support of cross-correlation with mission observation logs. MAST staff also serve on the Astrophysics Data Centers Coordinating Council.

Major Activities and Accomplishments of the Past Year:

MAST staff have been migrating data acquired from GSFC (ADF, NSSDC, and LASP) on DLT or via FTP onto CD-ROMs.  The CDs are then publicly accessible via automated jukebox systems here at STScI. The data have been verified and where necessary FITS formats have been corrected.  The following datasets have been loaded on to CD-ROM: IUE Final Archive data, ASTRO-UIT, ASTRO-HUT, and Copernicus.  Load of the IUESIPS (older version of the IUE data) is well underway with over 50% of the files written to CD.

MAST has implemented and maintained web sites for all the missions it is supporting, with search and retrieval capabilities, available documentation and software. Databases for each mission have also been developed and when necessary, updated. Guides for reading the data have been developed for many of the missions and will be completed for the remaining missions in the next year.  Retrievals for the ASTRO missions are now made via a "point and click" system via a users web browser.  Retrievals for IUE data using this method will be implemented soon.

The Hubble Data Archive manual has been updated and now includes a chapter on search and retrieval for the non-HST missions.

MAST has begun to make available carefully chosen atlases or prepared datasets for the supported missions.  These initial datasets include atlases of chi Lupi, 10 Lacertae, alpha Orionis, a FOS composite quasar spectrum, and a library of IUE SWP spectra for white dwarfs.  A spectral atlas of IUE standard stars will become available soon.

The IUE ESA project created an alternate extraction of the IUE Final Archive data called INES (IUE Newly Extracted Spectra).  MAST became a national host for this data set and has maintained a site for it.

As part of the evaluation of IUE and GHRS stellar atlas data, MAST personnel have found a pattern of wavelength errors as a function of wavelength attaining several km/s which are consistent with a 20-year old evaluation of the wavelength system of the Copernicus satellite. It is believed that these errors are caused by wavelength errors in old laboratory measurements. MAST will contact the IAU Commission on Radial Velocities to alert them to this problem.

A set of search/retrieval pages were developed to access the HEASARC ROSAT database.  These pages allow MAST users to use search pages that may have a more familiar feel.

                                            MAST Data Ingest Activity

Date Data Volume Ingested (GB) Files Ingested
Dec 1998 37.7 4026
Jan 1999 67.8 66131
Feb 1999 181.5 168970
Mar 1999 210.9 158336
Apr 1999 27.7 19370
May 1999 40.1 148535

                                         MAST Data Retrieval Activity

Date Size (MB) # Files
Jun 1998 500 62
Jul 1998 500 57
Aug 1998 140 15
Sep 1998 140 20
Nov 1998 6260 1037
Dec 1998 110 1354
Jan 1999 510 173
Feb 1999 810 516
Mar 1999 140 192
Apr 1999 210 140
May 1999 14 819

Delivery of UIT2 data began in June 1998. The remaining ASTRO missions have been publicly available for retrieval since November 1998. Access to IUE data stored at STScI will be provided sometime later this year (1999). In the interim, MAST provides IUE data access via NDADS at GSFC and the hits on this retrieval page are listed in the following table.

Hits on IUE Retrieval Page
6/98 7/98 8/98 9/98 10/98 11/98 12/98 1/99 2/99 3/99 4/99 5/99
736 478 603 416 226 320 374 511 580 455 573 300

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 the following activities:

  • Incorporate additional ultraviolet and optical data sets in the future, including data from the Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometers (ORFEUS), data from the Voyager UVS experiment, and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), currently scheduled for launch June 23, 1999. FUSE archiving during the mission's active lifetime is funded by the FUSE project, but post-mission and public data access support will come from MAST.
  • MAST has acquired the entire set of browsers for the IUE and ASTRO missions developed by the ADF staff at GSFC.  These browsers will be installed at MAST during the next few months as the ADF group no longer has sufficient staff to support them.  The browsers are currently accessed by MAST web sites from the ADF site.
  • Continue work on the improvement of the level of interoperability with the other astrophysics data services and with planetary science (Planetary Data System) and space physics data services.
  • Work with new astrophysics mission projects (e.g., 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.
  • Development of an interface that will allow HEASARC and IRSA to develop search and  retrieval scripts for our datasets that would have a familiar feel for their users.
  • 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.
  • Complete the ingest of IUE SIPS data to CD jukebox (expected by Sept. 1999).
  • Provide archival services for data obtained with the Mosaic Imager at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories. The Mosaic Imager is a CCD camera consisting of 8 4Kx2K CCDs placed together to span a large continuous field. NOAO will be calibrating the raw data and MAST will only be receiving the calibrated data. Mosaic Imager data currently has an 18 month proprietary period and initial demand on the archive will be low. This will give MAST time to build up a substantial dataset. The cost of Mosaic archiving and data distribution is borne fully by funds provided by NOAO.
The following on-going efforts will also be continued:
  • Improvement of Web-page support for existing datasets in order to enhance the scientific utility and the transparency of the MAST archive
  • Provide review and consultation services for upcoming missions including GALEX and CHIPS
  • Maintain support for archive users with data questions regarding searches, retrievals, and analyses of MAST data