• The LAGO Computing Challenge

    From the beginning of the LAGO Collaboration, several threats were identified related to the management of the generated data and shared resources: i) the lack of computational and storage resources having a common accessibility method and without compatibility issues among platforms; ii) the absence of effective mechanisms for the curation and sharing of the generated data; and iii) the difficulty of coordinating the development, tracking and deploying the official releases of codes.

    Several initiatives were proposed to face these problems, achieving different degrees of success. Within LAGO, storage and cluster facilities were offered by some institutions but unified access was not yet established, they are usually non-exclusive and provide a limited environment.

    The complexity and size of the LAGO Collaboration made necessary a joint approach that assures the continuity of the research programs in Latin America. In the very end, individual initiatives were not enough to overcome these limitations; such an issue could be framed within the Open Science paradigm, where research data, lab notes, and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution, and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.

    To manage this heterogeneity and take advantage of the aforementioned contributors, LAGO will progressively incorporate the continuous generation of data (measurements, processing and simulations) and code into standardised mechanisms that follow the FAIR principles. This is so to guarantee the long-term curation and re-use of data as well as the dissemination or reproducibility by other communities. Once this job is completed, both the measured and simulated LAGO datasets will be continuously curated, processed and stored. While some of these data products are intended only for internal usage of the collaboration, most of them are continuously released almost in real-time or after a short embargo period. The final purpose of these efforts is to enable the universal profit and contribution of this research, within and outside LAGO Collaboration, through a sustainable Virtual Observatory and standardised computational model.

    These objectives can only be achieved in federated, open, and non-privative environments, which must integrate the mechanisms for the publication and curation of large datasets. LAGO needs a procedural and computational ecosystem focused on continuous research by a large community of scientists. However, providing free and open access to different types of computational and storage resources, such as the public clouds, will not be enough for accomplishing LAGO requirements. Specific federated services such as those provided by EGI and a few others offered by associated projects such as EOSC are suitable ones for long-term supporting the LAGO research. Thanks to the creation of the LAGO Thematic Service within the EOSC-Synergy project, LAGO is now able to expand its capabilities from astrophysics studies and support other important areas with social impacts, such as contributing to a better understanding of the risk associated with active volcanoes at largely populated areas; estimating the moisture and the presence of natural fertilizer compounds at the soil, and even, helping in the detection of homemade antipersonnel mines at warfare fields in Latin America.