UK SRC Bridging Work

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Computer Science

Abstract

The operation of the SKA Observatory assumes the existence of SKA Regional Centres (SRCs) to deliver a range of support to the science community. The SRCs are required in order to provide the main portal for scientists to access the SKA including provision of computing resources and support to enable the science user community to analyse and extract science from data products produced by the SKA. An SRC Network (SRCNet) will be made up of SRCs distributed around the world in SKA Member countries. Each SRC will be required to conform to agreed standards in protocols, data architecture and information management policies to ensure that they appear as a single federated entity to SKA users. The SRCNet will provide a collection of both services and infrastructure that will comprise a global capability to distribute, process and curate the data from the SKA telescopes. The SRCNet will provide the basic governance and operational model and structures, and the baseline functionality of the SRC network. SKAO member states and SRC stakeholders are already engaging in the design of the SRC Network.

In order to enable the greatest possible return to the UK from its investment in the SKA, both scientific and within the data intensive supercomputing / big data / data science technical work, it is essential for the UK to fully participate and contribute to the SRCNet Project. The UK SKA Rregional Centre (UKSRC) Forum has helped generate the SRCNet's basic requirements and high level architecture. The next Phase, which begins in April 2022, is to refine the architecture and produce a verified system architecture based on advanced requirements. The four main Work Packages (WPs) needed to deliver this are:-
WP1 Refined high-level architecture, which includes the requirements that describe the specifics of implementation
WP2 Detailed component architecture (including interfaces and protocols).
WP3 Verified technologies to be used in the implementation.
WP4 Limited functional, but demonstrable prototypes that are tested and verified against our basic requirements.

Resources are sought to allow the UK to participate fully in these 4 WPs to allow the UK to play a leading role in the design of the SRCNet. This will be particularly accomplished by participation in WP4, the prototyping programme. There are 5 prototyping projects; these will enable (i) Data products replication, distribution, and synchronization across
multiple locations; (ii) the creation of a Federated Authentication and Authorization API and proto-Identity Management service; (iii) Data Processing Notebooks; (iv) Visualization of SKA
data with high volume of users and high amount of data; and (v) a service for the distribution of software, tools and services. To help deliver this the UKSRC Forum requests the following for the preiod April-September 2022 inclusive; 6 FTE of research software engineering, data steward and research devops effort; two FTE of Project Manager support to make sure the UK delivers its outputs; a 0.5FTE SRC Project Coordinator and a 0.5FTE Project Scientist to implement the strategy and project plan, and the day to day running of the Project - they will also oversee 2 UKSRC work packages, WP0: Set up UKSRC Governance and Management structure and WP5: Direction and Management of the Project, and the generation of reports. In addition £10k is requested for T&S to allow attendance at meetings and conferences to help progress WPs 1-4.

These resources will in effect create the first elements of the proto-UKSRC node. This will create a basic infrastructure that allows the UK to take a leading role the development of the SRCNet, and also allows the UK SKA Science Community access to UKSRC services that will allow them to create, develop and refine software technologies and workflows that will allow the UK to maximise its exploitation of SKA data, both during the commissioning phase (2024-27) and the production phase (2028-).

Publications

10 25 50