For almost two decades, large volumes of technical data, in a variety of formats, have resulted from the normal operations at the observatory. Similarly, in the last few years, dealing with huge amounts of data has become a priority for several industries, and as consequence, terms like "Big Data" or "Data Lake" have started to be more and more commonly used. Under these circumstances, frameworks and tools have proliferated and later released as "Open Software"; the hardware, on the other hand, has also changed giving the power to deal with this volume of data in a reasonable timeframe, and at a reasonable price.
We hereafter present the first version of a modern data lab developed for the Maintenance Support and Engineering Department (MSE) at the Paranal Observatory, “The MSE DataLab”. This DataLab will allow us to take advantage of this new technological evolution and to be prepared for the current and further challenges to come. These challenges, of course, refer to improving the overall observatory dependability (Reliability, Availability and Maintainability) by supporting the operations in our current and forthcoming telescopes. First, in our Very Large Telescopes (VLT), the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) and the survey telescopes (VISTA and VST). Secondly, in the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).
The near-infrared GRAVITY instrument has become a fully operational spectro-imager, while expanding its capability to support astrometry of the key Galactic Centre science. The mid-infrared MATISSE instrument has just arrived on Paranal and is starting its commissioning phase. NAOMI, the new adaptive optics for the Auxiliary Telescopes, is about to leave Europe for an installation in the fall of 2018. Meanwhile, the interferometer infrastructure has continuously improved in performance, in term of transmission and vibrations, when used with both the Unit Telescopes and Auxiliary Telescopes. These are the highlights of the last two years of the VLTI 2nd generation upgrade started in 2015.
ESO is undertaking a large upgrade of the infrastructure on Cerro Paranal in order to integrate the 2nd generation of interferometric instruments Gravity and MATISSE, and increase its performance. This upgrade started mid 2014 with the construction of a service station for the Auxiliary Telescopes and will end with the implementation of the adaptive optics system for the Auxiliary telescope (NAOMI) in 2018. This upgrade has an impact on the infrastructure of the VLTI, as well as its sub-systems and scientific instruments.
Paranal Observatory is located near Antofagasta city, northern Chile, one of the most seismic regions in the world. Telescopes and scientific instruments are permanently exposed to the risk of damage caused by earthquake events, ranging from optical misalignment to complete cease of operations. A seismic monitor is installed on the site, providing real-time data to make rapid post-earthquake assessments of expected damage and determine the areas, type and level of inspections to be carried out before continuing with the regular operations. With more than ten years of seismic data and its correlation with reported issues, we show that the inspection and recovery strategy can be defined taking into account the characteristics of the seismic event and according to system-dependent criteria.
The Paranal Very Large Telescopes (VLT) Observatory is a complex multifunctional observatory where many different systems are generating telemetry parameters.As systems becoming more and more complex, also the amount of telemetry data is increasing. This telemetry data is usually saved in various data repositories.In order to obtain a full system overview, it is necessary to link all that data in a meaningful and easy to interpret way. A step forward from simple telemetry data visualisation has been done by developing a new tool that can combine different data sources and has a powerful graphing capability.This new tool, called SystMon, is developed in iPython an interactive-web browser environment under the philosophy of notebooks which combine the code and the final product. The application can be shared among other colleagues and having the code side by side gives the accessibility to inspect and review the process improving and adding new capabilities to the application. SystMon allows to manipulate, generate andvisualise data in different types of graphs and also to create directly statistical reports. SystMon helps the user tomodel, visualiseand interpret telemetry data in a web-based platform for monitoring the health of systems, understanding short- and long-term behaviour and to anticipate corrective interventions.