SKA-Link is a 2-year project (01 Jan 17 – 31 Dec 18) led by the AMIGA team, that belongs to the i-LINK programme (Programa CSIC Conexión Internacional “i-LINK”). This call has the objective of promoting international scientific collaborations with foreign institutions.

The AMIGA team aims to create a deep understanding of the best technical strategies for successfully exploiting the immense flow of science-ready data that SKA will generate. To achieve this goal, it has taken advantage of its experience in e-Science and SKA-SDP (SKA Science Data Processor) membership to establish a collaboration and produce a general framework of Best Practices to be considered in the design of the SKA Regional Centres.

In order to elaborate this general framework of Best Practices, SKA-Link will promote the collaboration between 1) key members of the SDP consortium plus the ones involved in the design of SKA Regional Centres, 2) experts on cutting edge e-Science technologies for the scientific exploitation of Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs ) and 3) Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, contributing to make of SKA a reference, not only in science and technology, but in the scientific methodology too.

In summary, the 3 main objectives of SKA-Link are:

This project aims at going further and study how this framework could assist the astronomers to increase the quality of their scientific methods and results, with an emphasis on tools that facilitate the reproducibility of the scientific methods and their verification.


SKA-Link coordinator: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Spain

The SKA-Link project is coordinated by the AMIGA group, in collaboration with the Asteroseismology group led by Prof. R. Garrido in the area of e-Science provision, both belonging to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC).

  • The AMIGA team is comprised by scientists and engineers, focused on the study of galaxies, with a technical component that has provided support via e-Science activities. AMIGA has contributed to IVOA standards for radio-astronomy, with application e.g. to the IRAM-30m VO Archive, and has coordinated the Astronomy working package of the Wf4ever EU FP7 funded project “Advanced Workflow Preservation Technologies for Enhanced Science. AMIGA members have contributed to the optimization of the use of Distributed Computing Infrastructures and participate in the design of the SKA SDP. Involvement in the design of the SKA Regional Centres comes via participation in the AENEAS-H2020 project and membership of L. Verdes-Montenegro to the SRC Coordination Group.
  • The Asteroseismology team is specialized in the analysis of data in the Fourier space, now dealing with ultra precise satellite time series from the CoRoT mission. They are developing asteroseismic tools in the VO (e.g TOUCAN, designed to manage large collections of stellar models, including asteroseismic models). In addition, this team has also ported some of their tools and applications to the Grid environment, using the infrastructure of EGI, in preparation for PLATO2.0 mission (with engineers working in hardware – Main electronic unit, as well as software for massive time series analysis).

IAA-CSIC Participants

  • Julián Garrido
  • Rafael Garrido
  • Susana Sánchez
  • Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro (PI)

Members of the SDP consortium and responsible for designing the SKA Regional Centres

  • University of Cambridge, UK. It is heavily involved in the SKA design, covering a range or areas. The SKA-Link PI from this university, Prof. Paul Alexander, is the leader of the SKA SDP consortium and was the leader of the SKA Design Studies. His group has expertise in exploiting radio astronomy infrastructures that include SKA pathfinders such as the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) or the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). This university and their members participating in SKA-Link are also members of the AENEAS H2020 project.
  • Participants
    • Paul Alexander (PI)
    • Rosie Bolton
    • Bojan Nikolic
  • University of Manchester, UK. It hosts the Headquarters of the SKA Organisation at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. The SKA-Link PI from this university, Prof. Anna Scaife, is leader of the working package of AENEAS in charge of defining the computing and processing requirements for an SRC.
  • Participants
    • Anna Scaife (PI)
    • Chris Skipper
  • University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. It is located in the oldest university in South Africa, one of the two SKA host countries. Through numerous legacy survey projects, this university is linked with SKA, especially with one of the SKA precursors, MeerKAT. The SKA-Link PI from this university, Prof. Rob Simmonds, is leader of the SKA SDP sub-working package in charge of delivering the data to the community. He also participates in the AENEAS H2020 project.
  • Participants
    • David Aikema
    • Adrianna Pinska
    • Robert Simmonds (PI)
  • International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Australia. This centre is located in one of the two SKA host countries, and was created specifically to support the development of the SKA project in this country. The SKA-link PI from this centre, Prof. Andreas Wicenec led the ICT program that includes four main projects, the Conceptual SKA Design, the Data Intensive Research Pathfinder, the High Performance Computing and the LSST collaboration on database research. He has contributed to the VO and was involved in the design and implementation of ESO and ALMA science archives.
  • Participants
    • Andreas Wicenec (PI)
  • Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), The Netherlands. This institute designed, built and now operates the International LOFAR Telescope (a recognized pathfinder for the SKA). It leads both the SKA Low Frequency Aperture Array and the SKA Mid Frequency Aperture Array consortia while it plays a prominent role in the SDP consortium. The SKA-Link PI from this institute, Prof. Michael Wise, is also the coordinator of the AENEAS H2020 project and a member of the committee group created by the SKAO to define the SKA Regional Centres.
  • Participants
    • Yan Grange
    • Hanno Holties
    • Robert van der Meer
    • Michael Wise (PI)

Experts on cutting edge e-Science technologies

  • University of Edinburgh, UK. The group from this university participating in SKA-Link – Data-Intensive Research (DIR) group – has provided major contributions to the EU projects ADMIRE, ENVRI, EUDAT and VERCE, and it leads the design of the e-Infrastructure in the H2020 projects EUDAT2020 to greatly accelerate IO rates in exascale system. Its PI, Prof. Malcolm Atkinson, is Professor of e-Science in this university.He was director of the e-Science institute, which launched the DIR group.
  • Participants
    • Malcolm Atkinson (PI)
    • Amrey Krause
  • The Institute for Computer Science and Control (MTA SZTAKI), Hungary. It is one of the largest IT research institutes in Central Europe playing a key role in Grid and Cloud computing related research and development. The group from this institute participating in SKA-Link is expert in developing generic science gateway frameworks based on workflows (gUSE/WS-PGRADE) for various executing infrastructures built on Grid, Cloud and cluster technologies. Its PI, Prof. Peter Kacsuk, is Head of the Laboratory of Parallel and Distributed Systems of SZTAKI and has been involved in many WU Grid projects (EDG, GridLab, EGEE, SEEGRID, CoreGrid, GridCoord, ICEAGE, CancerGrid, EDGes).
  • Participants
    • Zoltan Farkas
    • Peter Kacsuk (PI)
  • The Eberhard­‐Karls Universität Tübingen (EKUT, University of Tübingen), Germany. The group from this university participating in SKA-link, the Applied Bioinformatics Group (ABI) is expert in providing science gateway solutions and workflow management technology, highlighting its contribution to the MoSGrid and SCI-Bus EU projects in order to build a Science Gateway for the Chemistry community. The SKA-Link PI of this group, Dr Jens Krüger, has been responsible for the workflow development and portal working packages of the MosGrid project.
  • Participants
    • Jens Krüger (PI)
  • Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), The Netherlands. The Data-Technologies group of KNMI is participating in SKA-Link, providing its expertise on tools, web services and Science Gateways adopted across different disciplines in Earth Science. The SKA-Link PI, Dr Alessandro Spinuso, is involved in a number of EU initiatives and projects, focusing on the deployment of an e-science infrastructure for Solid Earth Science research in Europe (NERA, VERCE, EPOS).
  • Participants
    • Wim Som De Cerff
    • Alessandro Spinuso (PI)
  • British Geological Survey (BGS), UK. This centre belongs to the Environmental Science Centre, an international leader in Geology. This group is expert on the development of data-intensive applications. The SKA-Link PI, Dr Rosa Filgueira, is currently a senior Data Scientist in the BGS and one of the leaders of dispel4py, a Python framework for Data-Intensive scientific computing.
  • Participants
    • Rosa Filgueira (PI)

Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe (FLE). FLE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd, Japan. FLE R&D activities are focused on advanced cloud computing technologies and Linked Open Data technology, next generation networks and wireless technologies, M2M service platforms and sensors. FLE has a strong collaboration mission and is carrying out pre-competitive R&D and EU collaborative projects. FLE has extensive knowledge of standardization in many fields, including wireless communication, Grid computing, Web services, and Linked Open Data.

  • Participants
    • Víctor de la Torre
    • Adriano Galano

New Participants

  • Antonio Chrysostomou (SKAO, UK)
  • Sèverin Gaudet (National Research Council, Canada)
  • Javier Granado (IAA-CSIC, Spain)
  • Michael G. Jones (IAA-CSIC, Spain)
  • Marcella Massardi (INAF-Istituto di radioastronomia, Italy)
  • José Ramón Rodón (IAA-CSIC, Spain)
  • Russ Taylor (IDIA, UCT, South Africa)

This project is funded under the call i-LINK+ 2016 (I-LINK1122), a grant from CSIC.