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1 November 2001 Data flow system for the very large telescope interferometer
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The Data Flow System is the VLT end-to-end system for handling astronomical observations from the initial observation proposal phase through the acquisition, processing and control of the astronomical data. The VLT Data Flow System has been in place since the opening of the first VLT Unit Telescope in 1998. When completed the VLT Interferometer will make it possible to coherently combine up to three beams coming from the four VLT 8.2m telescopes as well as from a set of initially three 1.8m Auxiliary Telescopes, using a Delay Line tunnel and four interferometry instruments. The Data Flow system is now in the process of installation and adaptation for the VLT Interferometer. Observation preparation for a multi-telescope system, handling large data volume of several tens of gigabytes per night are among the new challenges offered by this system. This introduction paper presents the VLTI Data Flow system installed during the initial phase of VLTI commissioning. Observation preparation, data archival, and data pipeline processing are addressed.
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