Creating Data that Never Die:
Building a Spectrograph Data Pipeline in the Virtual Observatory Era

Douglas J. Mink, William F. Wyatt, John B. Roll, Susan P. Tokarz, Maureen A. Conroy, Nelson Caldwell, Michael J. Kurtz, Margaret J. Geller
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138
Data pipelines for modern complex astronomical instruments do not begin when the data is taken and end when it is delivered to the user. Information must flow between the observatory and the observer from the time a project is conceived and between the observatory and the world well past the time when the original observers have extracted all the information they want from the data. For the 300-fiber Hectospec low dispersion spectrograph on the MMT, the SAO Telescope Data Center is constructing a data pipeline which provides assistance from preparing and submitting observing proposals through observation, reduction, and analysis to publication and an afterlife in the Virtual Observatory. We will describe our semi-automatic pipeline and how it has evolved over the first nine months of operation.

Mink, D.J., Wyatt, W.F., Roll, J.B., Tokarz, S.P., Conroy, M.A., Caldwell, N., Kurtz, M.J., Geller, M.J., 2005, in Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIV, ASP Conference Series, Vol. 347, Edited by P.L. Shopbell, M.C. Britton, and R. Ebert, San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2005, p.228.

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