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Physical Sciences

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The NOAO/IRAF Save the Bits archive has been operating for over three years at Kitt Peak National Observatory and at the National Solar Observatory's nighttime program. Since that time, the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory have also adopted the software. These first generation Save the Bits installations rely on Exabyte tapes as the archival medium, typically using pairs of drives to produce duplicate copies of the data for heightened protection against data loss. The upgrade of Save the Bits that is currently in progress to support writable CD-R drives is discussed. In addition to another media option, this expands the role of the package to include data distribution as well as data archiving. Dual CD-R copies are produced as with tapes. One copy is retained for archival purposes, but the second copy of each nightly CD is released to the appropriate institution as the principle means of data distribution from the telescope. The four individual institutions are free to handle their copy of the data in any appropriate way, such as by mounting the disks into a jukebox as they are received. Both raw and mountain-reduced data are included in random access FITS files on the ISO 9660 CD-ROMs. Planned future improvements include support for DVD format disks. Save the Bits is freely available to outside institutions and is straightforward to install and manage. Hardware requirements are minimal and other storage media should be straightforward to support.

Publication Title

Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VI


Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Additional Information

Dr. von Hippel was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.