The costs and resources associated with the development of forefront astronomical research capabilities often greatly exceed the funding capacities of individual universities, research organizations, and nations (e.g., Atacama Large Millimeter Array [ALMA], The Square Kilometre Array [SKA], and Extremely Large (optical) Telescopes in the 30m-100m class [ELTs]). Collaborative alliances of organizations and nations are therefore being formed to build new, facility-class astronomical observatories across the globe. This expansion and globalization of the astronomical research effort raises a number of major issues that need to be confronted and solved by astronomers, research funding bodies, and governments. Some of these issues are being met by other sciences and some are unique to the research diversity inherent in exploring the Universe through multiple, complementary wavelength windows. In all cases, the challenges of managing, maximally utilizing, and collaboratively sharing the huge volume of digital information flowing from these new observatories is focusing and leading the discussion of critical issues for success. This discussion paper seeks to identify a number of these major issues, to highlight a new vision for a common research infrastructure that will enable some of these issues to be addressed, and further, to identify some of the practical and policy issues associated with long term solutions and the maximal return on a global research investments.
|Journal||IVOA Note 15 March 2004|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2004|