About the CADC

The Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) was established in 1986 by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), through a grant provided by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Over the past thirty years, CADC has evolved from an archiving centre—hosting data from Hubble Space Telescope, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the Gemini observatories, and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope—into a science platform for data-intensive astronomy. CADC, in partnership with Shared Services Canada, Compute Canada, CANARIE and the university community (funded through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation), offers cloud computing, user-managed storage, group management, and data publication services, in addition to its ongoing mission to provide permanent storage for major data collections.

Located at NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre in Victoria, BC, the CADC staff consists of professional astronomers, software developers, and operations staff who work with the community to develop and deliver cutting-edge services to advance Canadian research. CADC plays a leading role in international efforts to improve the scientific/technical landscape in support of data-intensive science. This includes leadership roles in the International Virtual Observatory Alliance and participation in organizations like the Research Data Alliance, CODATA, and the World Data Systems. CADC also contributes significantly to future Canadian projects like the Square Kilometre Array and TMT.

CADC serves both national and international users. In 2021, the repository delivered over 2.4 Petabytes of data (over 130 million individual files) to thousands of astronomers in Canada and over eighty other countries. The cloud processing system completed over 6 million jobs (over 1,100 core years) in 2021. The data has helped, for example, safely guide the first close spacecraft encounter with Pluto and enabled the discovery of supermassive black holes that reveal secrets about the origin of the Universe. CADC's data collection and its world-leading astronomy cloud infrastructure provide a unique resource for data-intensive astrophysical research.

CADC recognizes the importance of long-term professional administration and preservation of data assets. CADC takes responsibility for the stewardship of digital objects and the long-term protection, management, and reusability of data. CADC has full approval from its parent organization, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), as part of the NRC's mandate from the government of Canada to "operate and administer any astronomical observatories established or maintained by the Government of Canada."

Mandate

To deliver value to research astronomers through the development and provision of data handling and information technology services. It includes the following mission elements:

  • Ensure that Canadians have access to leading-edge Information Technology facilities to support research and to conduct scientific research relevant to these facilities
  • Create innovative data management systems and services in support of research
  • Contribute to the continuity of the international reciprocal agreements on data sharing in astronomy
  • Transfer and exchange expertise with universities and industry in Canada

Acknowledgements

If you have used CADC facilities for your research, please include the following acknowledgment:

This research used the facilities of the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre operated by the National Research Council of Canada with the support of the Canadian Space Agency.