140 Foot Telescope Data Archive
September 26, 1998
Ronald J. Maddalena
The data archive for the 140 Foot Telescope currently goes back to early 1992. Over the last few months, the approximately 250 nine-track and 170 Exabyte tapes that make up the archive have been copied to 25 compact disks. This was done in order to better preserve the data as well as to reduce the necessary storage requirements. The archive was also copied to a second set of CDs in the off chance a CD was ever to be damaged. Even though most of the original tapes were stored in environments that were damp and unsuitable for tape preservation, we were able to copy to CD more than 95% of the data. Hanna Smith, a 1997 graduate of Pocahontas County high school, and Don Nelson, a 140 Foot telescope operator, deserve our thanks for their dedication in completing what was a very frustrating task.
Since the format of the data on the CD is equivalent to the original Modcomp telescope tape format (see the 140 Foot manual or the UniPops cookbook for a description of the format), one simply uses the UniPops cvt.disk-disk routine to read the data off the CD. Each CD contains additional files that either summarize the contents of the CD or log every observation on the CD. The CD also contains data base files that can be read by most commercial spreadsheet and data base programs. Anyone who uses the data base files can query the contents of the archive for observations that meet a very wide range of selection criteria (see the July 1995 Newsletter for an article describing archive data base).