The Astro-WISE optical image pipeline: Development and implementation

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We have designed and implemented a novel way to process wide-field astronomical data within a distributed environment of hardware resources and humanpower. The system is characterized by integration of archiving, calibration, and post-calibration analysis of data from raw, through intermediate, to final data products. It is a true integration thanks to complete linking of data lineage from the final catalogs back to the raw data. This paper describes the pipeline processing of optical wide-field astronomical data from the WFI ( and OmegaCAM ( instruments using the Astro-WISE information system (the Astro-WISE Environment or simply AWE). This information system is an environment of hardware resources and humanpower distributed over Europe. AWE is characterized by integration of archiving, data calibration, post-calibration analysis, and archiving of raw, intermediate, and final data products. The true integration enables a complete data processing cycle from the raw data up to the publication of science-ready catalogs. The advantages of this system for very large datasets are in the areas of: survey operations management, quality control, calibration analyses, and massive processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-78
Number of pages34
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2013


  • Wide-field imaging
  • Data processing
  • Information system

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