The successful management and utilisation of “big data” is not just an issue for those concerned with data mining the substantial troves of the likes of Google and Amazon. Radio astronomers also mine the sky for rare “needles in astronomical haystacks”, leading to further discoveries of known object and potentially revealing new, completely unknown astrophysical phenomena.
The Swinburne Pulsar Portal has been created as an extension of the Swinburne University of Technology Metadata Stores Project, funded in part by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and driven by the global research culture within the astronomy disciplines to download and analyse extremely large datasets. The portal will provide an online tool facilitating remote access to and processing of pulsar data from the CSIRO Parkes 64m Radio Telescope, maintained on the gSTAR Supercomputer. Unlike traditional data archives, the Swinburne Pulsar Portal leverages the power of the supercomputer to enable users to conduct sophisticated analyses using advanced computational tools, backed by significant processing power, within a dedicated interface. This setup alleviates the guesswork associated with setting up and maintaining the necessary hardware and software infrastructure.