Project Members Learn How to Use Rubin's Engineering and Facility Database
Even though Rubin Observatory's physical construction site is closed, there's no shortage of work going on across the Project. And, with the focus on activities that can be done while staff are working from home, it's a great time to implement training that will benefit Project members in the long term. One of these training opportunities, which took place in late May and early June, educated staff from across the Project about a resource many of them will need to access and interact with during Commissioning and Operations: the Engineering and Facility Database (EFD). The course, titled EFD-101, was open to Project members who anticipate using the EFD for their work, and about 30 people participated virtually.
The EFD is the central repository for telemetry data from different subsystems relating to the Rubin summit facility. Telemetry streams, which combine physical or electrical data with timing data, are collected from many sources, both physically on the summit and elsewhere, and streamed to the EFD. Although it's not technologically feasible to include data from every Rubin component in the EFD, the goal is to capture as much useful data as possible and make it available to the scientists, engineers, and technicians who need it to make sure everything is working properly.
The EFD, powered by InfluxDB, a time-series database, will store data collected by Service Abstraction Layer (SAL), an API on top of the Project’s middleware/Data Distribution Service (DDS). The SAL, in concert with Commandable SAL Components (CSCs) pull data from various sources including the weather station outside the summit facility, environmental sensors inside the facility, the Telescope Mount Assembly and the Dome of the main observatory, the Auxiliary Telescope, the DIMM tower, and more. With input from so many different sources the EFD must be extremely robust, as well as flexible enough to accommodate data streams that vary widely in terms of context and throughput.
The EFD is commonly referred to as a single system, but in fact there are currently two EFDs. The one on the summit continuously collects data and can operate independently without a link to the base for up to 30 days. Another EFD, located at the US Data Facility at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), replicates new data from the summit EFD, and then archives the data permanently.