Frequently Asked Questions


The AO Data Archives contain information about the proposals approved at the Arecibo Observatory. As of now, the projects database contains 1751 entries.

For every project, a common set of attributes is displayed, when available: Title, Sponsor, Time Requested Instrument, Science Category, Number of Observations, Number of Files available, Investigators, etc.

Majority of the data available is in RAW formats. In certain projects, processed data is also available for download. Since most of it is in RAW format, you will need to have knowledge on how to process it.

Access to pre-processed data is limited to AO resources. Users will need to request an account at NAIC to run the pre-processing scripts.

Users will need some staff guidance on how to use AO resources and pre-processing scripts. It is always a good practice to first check with the project's PI for guidance.

Also, users can submit a proposal to TACC to use their computing resources to process AO data currently available at TACC. In this scenario, the users requesting computing time will need to have handy the processing scripts, computing requirements, time needed and estimated data volume generated.

The Arecibo Observatory partnered with The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). As part of this partnership, Arecibo will be hosting its data at TACC. From there, users and community will be able to access Arecibo's archives and request computing time from TACC, if desired.

At this moment, not all of Arecibo's data is stored at TACC. There are offsite repositories of data and projects. This is specific to some proposals. If you are interested in a project whose data is stored on a offsite location, you will be directed on the respective data access policies and processes.

If you are interested in downloading RAW data from a proposal/project, you need to follow the steps below:

  1. Browse the desired project and validate that it shows Data Files available.
  2. Click on the Request Data function for the desired project.
  3. The system will generate a Workflow, you will receive an email confirming the action.
  4. Arecibo staff will review your request to make sure data is available and ready to be served.
  5. Once approved and reviewed, you will receive an email with followup actions.

Please note: that in order to download the data, your staff and system/terminal needs to comply with the following requirements:

  1. UNIX commands understanding.
  2. FTP proficiency (via terminal or GUI).
  3. Unblocked access through Ports 80, 443 and 22 (HTTPS/SSH/FTP).

Is it useful to present the scenarios below to further help your data request decision.

  1. Raw data available at TACC: user needs the code to pre-process them. User will need to submit a proposal to TACC to use their resources, have vast knowledge of the scripts and processes required to turn the RAW data into usable data.
  2. Raw data available at AO: user needs NAIC (AO) account to run processing, plus computing resources at AO and vast knowledged of scripts/processes. RAW data may not be available online in the short term.
  3. Processed data available at TACC/AO: user can download as required, may need support from AO staff for interpretation.