New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) is reaching for the stars – after launching plans for the UAE’s first ever space data hub.
The National Data Center at the Saadiyat Island university will be used to acquire, archive and process crucial scientific data collected by space observatories.
The out-of-this-world facility will play a key role in providing pre-launch studies for the eagerly-awaited Emirati Mars Mission (set to launch in 2020) and other voyages, such as the PLATO mission, an investigation of planetary systems spearheaded by the European Space Agency, which is set for lift-off in 2026.
Shravan Hanasoge, co-principal investigator at the NYUAD Center for Space Science explains, “Space science cannot proceed forward without high-quality measurements. The data taken by billion-dollar space-based observatories can be used to make important scientific contributions. We hope that the ease of access to this data in the UAE will significantly boost space science research in the region.”
Space data is usually publicly available online but requires heavy infrastructure and computing power to be accessed and analyzed remotely.
The NYUAD will make it easier to access datasets that can sometimes be several terabytes in size.
The Center for Space Science also plans to hold workshops for users interested in learning how to access and use the database.
Work on the National Data Center will begin in 2018 and researchers at NYUAD are looking to collaborate with other institutions in the UAE to ensure widespread user access to the database.
Abu Dhabi is once again boldly going where no one else in the UAE has gone before.