Status of LOFAR Data in HDF5 Format

Anastasia Alexov (ASTRON), L. Baehren (University of Amsterdam), J.W.T. Hessels (ASTRON), J.D. Mol (ASTRON), Pim Schellart (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)


The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) project is solving the challenge of data size and complexity using the Hierarchical Data Format, version 5 (HDF5). Most of LOFAR's standard data products will be stored using the HDF5 format; the Beam-Formed Time Series Data and Transient Buffer Board Data have transitioned from project-specific binary to HDF5 format. HDF5 is a data model, library, and file format for storing and managing data. It is designed for flexible and efficient I/O and for high volume and complex data.

We report on our effort to pave the way towards new astronomical data encapsulation using HDF5, which can be used by future ground and space projects. The LOFAR project has formed a collaboration with NROA, the VOA and the HDF Group to obtain funding for a full-time staff member to work on documenting and developing standards for astronomical data written in HDF5. We hope our effort will enhance HDF5 visibility and usage within the community, specifically for SKA Pathfinders and other major new radio telescopes such as LOFAR, EVLA, ALMA, ASKAP, MeerKAT, MWA, LWA, and eMERLIN.

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Paper ID: P002

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