Home > News > 17-March--2008
Status of UK Solar System Data Centre Funding from STFC Programmatic Review
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which is the funding
body of the UKSSDC and WDC for STP, Chilton undertakes a biennial review of
the projects and facilities in the research programme. The outcome for the
data centre is very uncertain at this time and there is much debate in the UK
over the timing and operation of the review procedure. See the Royal Astronomical Society for comments on
the review and
the STFC consultation
pages for details of the review and consultation exercise.
The feedback to the UKSSDC from the review so far is
We would be grateful if our users could find the time to make some comments,
via the consultation
form, to STFC on the continued value and importance of the UKSSDC and WDC for
STP. This requires you to specify a programme category, which we assume
will determine the panel that reviews your input. The main category of
interest for our community is "Solar and STP", but there are other categories
where our community has interests: e.g. "Theory, computation and data
handling" and "Space science and exploration".
The ranking reflected PPAN's view that the facility did not undertake science directly
and thus direct science impact was low. The value of the facility for solar and solar
terrestrial physics data access was recognised.
Category: Medium-Lower Priority
- Particularly important for the UKSSDC is support for the value of long
term data archiving and access, as well as the issue of judging a general
data facility by it's "direct science impact".
- Another aspect we would like to highlight is the lack of and effective
"Data Policy" within STFC. If STFC decided to reduce or cut the data
centre it is difficult to see what will happen to the data that resides
there and there is every chance that data would be irretrievably lost.
- Any options for saving money within the STFC programme while still be
able to maintain existing facilities would also fit well with STFC's
ambitions for the consultation exercise. We feel that the UKSSDC holds an
important role here by offering the option of direct project to archive
data management and reducing the requirement for each project to generate
it's own data centre and associated data access methods.