TRAP - The Reusable Astronomy Portal

Tom Donaldson (STScI), Anthony Rogers (STScI)


The Multimission Archive at STScI (MAST) hosts a variety of astronomical archives. The challenge was to develop a seamless web interface for discovering and exploring these data sets which are heterogeneous and distributed among a variety of servers. This challenge is not unique to MAST. For example, a web interface for discovering VO data has this same problem, even worse since the data is much more heterogeneous and highly distributed.

To meet these challenges, The Reusable Astronomy Portal (TRAP) is being developed to integrate diverse data holdings employing a common message-based API. This approach provides a common platform from which to build client applications for the web, desktop, mobile and script access. At the core of this platform is the Mashup Server that returns data-only products for client consumption. The Mashup Server was developed on the Mac using Mono, the open source .NET framework.

The Mashup Server is currently being used by two web clients, the MAST and VAO Data Discovery Portals. These portals share several UI components created within the Ext JS JavaScript application framework.

The data-centric nature of the Mashup Server and JSON-based message API has enabled rapid development of these portals. We expect that this platform will provide a framework for rapid development on a variety of other clients, including 3rd party portals and mobile devices.

Paper ID: P035

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