Hi! I was asked to announce my last minute talk here.
KERN - the radio astronomy software suite used at SKA, based on Ubuntu
Installing scientific software can be hard. The last two years i've been working on methods to simplify the installation procedure by creating and publicly publishing debian packages of the most used radio astronomy software. These packages are now used in various institutes around the world. Still there are many problems to be solved, for example how to distribute updates of software without breaking existing pipelines or how to publish various (conflicting) versions of the same software and/or library. Kern is attempt to address some of these issues by introducing a bi-annual release cycle independent of Debian/Ubuntu. Kern now consists of 25 packages, down from 35 since some of them are in in Debian.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a large multi radio telescope project aimed to be built in Australia and South Africa. If built, it would have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre. It would operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size would make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument. It would require very high performance central computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the current global Internet traffic. It should be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before.