Talk / Overview
I will describe the research cloud infrastructure set up by the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA), a partnership of three South African universities and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory. The institute is designed to enable African researchers to take the lead in large survey projects and other observations from the MeerKAT Radio Telescope. The MeerKAT is a precursor telescope to the international Square Kilometre Array radio telescope and will be integrated into its phase I deployment. The scale of the data coming from the MeerKAT requires a paradigm shift in astronomy research, led by enabling institutions like IDIA and by progress in machine learning applications. I will present some of our work on the data processing pipeline, on data visualisation and other research, as well as our skills and capacity development programme. The research cloud facility itself also serves the bioinformatics community, with African genomics at the forefront.