|Huib van Langevelde
| The NEXPReS project received an "excellent" rating after its Period 3 review 19 September, including a 4 Gbps demo on 18 September.
During the NEXPReS project and the EXPReS project before it, our team of radio-astronomers, computer scientists, software engineers and network specialists pioneered various aspects of real-time connectivity for VLBI. NEXPReS has implemented the bandwidth on demand techniques for multi-domain connectivity and demonstrated that it is possible to buffer increasingly huge data rates locally, while also streaming it to the correlator in real-time. This has enhanced the robustness, as the data of the European VLBI Network can now be monitored transparently during science observations. The distributed software correlator project has led to such valuable improvements in the data processing that the hardware correlator at JIVE is ready to be switched off. Still, the users who are always ambitious to push the capabilities into new territories, are requesting new observing modes. Considerable improvements have also been made to the processes that are involved in taking the data; the increasing efficiency during observations has resulted in serious discussions in the EVN whether to deploy a subset of the array ("EVN-lite") for more continuous observing capabilities. In this observing mode it should be able to build in the capabilities to respond dynamically on automatically generated external triggers, a mode already tested during the project. This and various other possibilities for future observing have been discussed in the eVSAG.
If you would like to see the project's final report or see any of the presentations from the review, all documents are available on the wiki.
This review marks the end of NEXPReS. JIVE, as a coordinator, acknowledges all the dedicated work put in by all the partners, the special efforts made by the activity leaders and the fine collaboration with the NEXPReS board. It has been a enlightening experience!
JIVE - Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, EU (The Netherlands), Coordinator
AALTO - Aalto University Metsahovi Radio Observatory, Finland
ASTRON - The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, The Netherlands
CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
DANTE - Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe Limited, EU (UK)
FG-IGN - Fundacion General de la Universidad de Alcala, together with Instituto Geografico Nacional, Spain
INAF - Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy
MPG - Max Planck Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Wissenschaften E.V., Germany
NORDUnet - NORDUnet A/S, Denmark
OSO - Chalmers Tekniska Hoegskola AB, Sweden
PSNC - Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland
SURFnet - SURFnet bv, The Netherlands
TUM - Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany
UMAN - The University of Manchester, UK
VENT - Ventspils Augstskola, Latvia
NEXPReS is an e-Infrastructure project funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement RI-261525.
|by Kristine Yun