EXTraS has a mission to harvest the unexplored information buried in the data collected by ESA’s X-ray space observatory XMM-Newton, during 16 years of observation. The released analysis software is particularly important for enhancing the potential of discovery of the XMM-Newton mission, especially because it collects new data every day.
The EXTraS team needed ICT support for the project’s activities, in particular for setting up the new science gateway – or the EXTraS portal – a web platform that gives scientists the possibility to run analysis on the whole XMM-Newton science archive (XSA).
The EXTraS portal relies on the EGI Cloud Compute service within the extras-fp7.eu virtual organisation and is freely available to all scientists. The subsequent computational infrastructure is made of four components: the EGI Applications Database (AppDB), the eToken Server, the CERN Virtual Machine File System infrastructure (CVMFS) and the cloud providers of the EGI Federation.
Thanks to the EXTraS project, scientists now have access to a massive discovery space which allows them to explore new questions in the astronomy and astrophysics research fields.