Open access to KM3NeT data

The KM3NeT Research Infrastructure will, over a period of at least a decade, produce a large amount of unique scientific data that are to be made available to the scientific communities concerned – in particular particle, astroparticle and astrophysics as well as marine sciences – and to the broader general public. To provide this service the tools, procedures, documentation and rules will be developed in the context of the KM3NeT INFRADEV project. The goal is to build on the concepts emerging from the preparatory work performed in the FP7 Preparatory Phase project and to closely interface the activities to the H2020 ASTERICS project, which will establish common standards for open data access amongst astrophysics research infrastructures.

Neutrino data

The KM3NeT neutrino telescope will continuously register neutrinos from the whole sky. The neutrinos of astrophysical interest, i.e. those from extra-terrestrial origin, need to be identified in the background of atmospheric neutrinos, i.e. those created in Earth’s atmosphere by interactions of cosmic-ray particles.

Multi-messenger data

Access to cosmic neutrino data is of high importance for a wide astrophysics community beyond the KM3NeT Collaboration to relate cosmic neutrino fluxes to observations by other neutrino observatories or using other messengers, and to compare them with theoretical predictions.

Atmospheric neutrino data

The atmospheric neutrinos carry information on the particle physics processes in which they are created, and – in particular those registered with KM3NeT/ORCA – on the neutrinos themselves. These data are relevant for a wide astroparticle and particle physics community.

Marine data

In addition, KM3NeT will monitor marine parameters, such as bioluminescence, currents, water properties and transient acoustic signals. Access to these data is to be provided to marine science communities. The raw data, emerging from the on-shore online filtering of the bit stream arriving from the deep sea, require further processing, such as calibration, event reconstruction, and formatting, before they are suitable for external use. These processing steps require an enhanced level of automation, monitoring, quality control, scrutiny and documentation as compared to the corresponding efforts for internal use.

Simulated data

To allow for a meaningful interpretation of the experimental data, simulated data of signal and background processes must be provided  The tools and procedures for providing these different data sets need to be developed, for the neutrino as well as for the marine data. The data access through an internet interface is to be implemented and sample analysis programs for users are to be provided.

Intellectual property rights

Once KM3NeT data are used externally for scientific studies, questions of scrutiny of results, authorship, scientific responsibility and intellectual property rights arise. The corresponding rules and procedures, as well as best-practice cooperation models, have to be worked out, established and documented.

Training of users

The use of KM3NeT data by external scientists requires training, e.g. on the design and functionality of the instrument, the simulation procedures and the event reconstruction algorithms. This training is to be provided through a virtual educational centre which will be setup. Furthermore, both newcomers to the KM3NeT Collaboration and external scientists will be offered intense, face-to-face training meetings; the contents of and the educational material for these meetings is to be prepared.

Generating public data

Based on existing KM3NeT software, the production chain for public data, including the formatting according to ASTERICS standards, will be developed for KM3NeT and simulation data. Example usage programs will be developed, tested and their provision in a platform-independent way prepared.

See also the “KM3NeT Data Management Plan“, “Report on ASTERICS liaison” and “Report on conceptual design of open data generation, archiving test programs and access” which are already available.

In due time, other project outputs will be published comprising: “Report on virtual education centre and training meetings: Setup, material, tools”, “Report on monitoring and quality control setup”,  “Report on documentation strategy, environment, and software”, “Report on rules and conditions for data access”, “Report on implementation and test of the open data system, including data generation, monitoring, archiving, example programs and access”, “Manuals for all major components of the open data access system”, “Regulations for cooperation models, authorship rights and intellectual property rights to be applied for external users”, “Report on implementation and user tests of virtual education”.