Google funds software developed at CEFCA for the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre
The project will optimize the processes necessary for the scientific exploitation of astronomical data.
The American multinational company Google has granted funding for an astronomical software project that is being developed in the Data Processing and Archiving Department (DPAD) of the Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (CEFCA).
The financing has been granted through the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2023 program, which finances the salaries of summer students to work on software developments in projects of a high scientific and technological level. In its last call, GSoC financed 967 projects around the world, which represents 12.5% of the proposals submitted.
The award-winning CEFCA project falls within the scope of the GNU Astronomy Utilities (Gnuastro) software package, which aims to optimize the treatment, correction, calibration and analysis of astronomical data. Gnuastro is used not only at the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ) but also in other astronomical observatories and research projects. Specifically, in other European Space Agency projects in which CEFCA is involved, such as Euclid (to be launched in July 2023) and the recently approved ARRAKIHS mission (planned to launch around 2030), as well as in space telescopes James Webb and Hubble.
The scientist responsible for the awarded project is Dr. Mohammad Akhlaghi, CEFCA staff researcher and manager of the OAJ astronomical data processing software. Thanks to the financing obtained, Dr. Akhlaghi will have a software developer whom he will supervise during the months of June, July and August 2023 to complete the award-winning project. Once completed, this work will improve the OAJ astronomical data processing and calibration software, both from its J-PAS and J-PLUS legacy projects, as well as from the second-generation legacy projects being carried out by researchers from other centers within the 20% of open time that the observatory offers to the scientific community as a Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructure (ICTS).