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TAPAS, a VO archive at the IRAM 30-m telescope


Astronomical observatories are today generating increasingly large volumes of data. For an efficient use of them, databases have been built following the standards proposed by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), providing a common protocol to query them and make them interoperable. The IRAM 30-m radio telescope, located in Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain) is a millimeter wavelength telescope with a constantly renewed, extensive choice of instruments, and capable of covering the frequency range between 80 and 370 GHz. It is continuously producing a large amount of data thanks to the more than 200 scientific projects observed each year. The TAPAS archive at the IRAM 30-m telescope is aimed to provide public access to the headers describing the observations performed with the telescope, according to a defined data policy, making as well the technical data available to the IRAM staff members. A special emphasis has been made to make it Virtual Observatory (VO) compliant, and to offer a VO compliant web interface allowing to make the information available to the scientific community. TAPAS is built using the Django Python framework on top of a relational MySQL database, and is fully integrated with the telescope control system. The TAPAS data model (DM) is based on the Radio Astronomical DAta Model for Single dish radio telescopes (RADAMS), to allow for easy integration into the VO infrastructure. A metadata modeling layer is used by the data-filler to allow an implementation free from assumptions about the control system and the underlying database. TAPAS and its public web interface ( provides a scalable system that can evolve with new instruments and observing modes. A meta description of the DM has been introduced in TAPAS in order to both avoid undesired coupling between the code and the DM and to provide a better management of the archive. A subset of the header data stored in TAPAS will be made available at the CDS.

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We would like to thank the anonymous referee for the very helpful comments. The authors acknowledge support from Spanish DGI Grants AYA 2005-07516-C02-01, AYA 2005-07516-C02-02, AYA2008-06181-C02, and Junta de Andalucía grant P08-FQM-4205-PEX.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stephane Leon.

Additional information

IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain).

Appendix: Data model subsystems

Appendix: Data model subsystems

In this section we present (Fig. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22) a detailed description of each subsystem of the Data Model listed in Table 1.

Fig. 11

Antenna subsystem

Fig. 12

Sources subsystem

Fig. 13

Software subsystem

Fig. 14

Scan subsystem

Fig. 15

Users profile subsystem

Fig. 16

Switching settings subsystem

Fig. 17

Scan results subsystem

Fig. 18

Backends subsystem

Fig. 19

Receivers subsystem

Fig. 20

Observation settings subsystem

Fig. 21

Meteo station subsystem

Fig. 22

Metadata subsystem

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Leon, S., Espigares, V., Ruíz, J.E. et al. TAPAS, a VO archive at the IRAM 30-m telescope. Exp Astron 34, 65–88 (2012).

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  • Astronomical database
  • Virtual observatory
  • Radioastronomy