Facilities > VLA > Data Archive > Data Shipment

Data Shipment

Data Shipping Policy

Since the start of the full EVLA science operations, dataset sizes have typically been 10's of GB in size, or larger. While many NRAO users may have fast enough internet connections to download datasets via FTP, others may not. Therefore, the NRAO offers a data shipping service for any user who would like their data to be shipped to them on a hard disk. Currently, users who have more than 300 GB of data may desire to have their data shipped on disk rather than FTP, but we do not set a limit on the dataset size that users can try to FTP if they so wish. NRAO will ship data on disk to users under the following policy:

  • The disk shipping service is available for users registered through the NRAO user portal at my.nrao.edu
  • For data within the proprietary period, NRAO will cover shipping costs; the user will be responsible for the cost of media, and media will not be shipped until payment is received by NRAO. There is no limit to the number of disks that can be shipped to an individual user by NRAO, within reason.
  • For projects that waived the usual 12 month proprietary period, or have a reduced proprietary period by reason of being a DDT proposal, NRAO will cover shipping costs to investigators associated with the project for a period not to exceed 12 months following the last observation for the project; the user will be responsible for the cost of media, and media will not be shipped until payment is received by NRAO.
  • For data that are no longer within the proprietary period, and are generally accessible to all through the NRAO Archive, the user will be responsible for shipping, handling, and media costs; media will not be shipped until payment has been received by NRAO.
  • NRAO will provide the media, and will comprise a 2TB disk (which effectively holds 1.8TB of data), formatted to either Linux ext4 or MacOS (case sensitive Journaling disabled), in an enclosure with a USB3.1 cable; we will not accept user-supplied disks.
  • Multiple projects or datasets may be written to a single disk, at the request of the user.
  • Payment for disk(s) and shipping (if required): if payment is made by wire transfer there will be an additional charge and it could take longer to verify receipt of payment—up to several weeks. Once you've been invoiced by NRAO, if time is of the essence, please consider paying using a credit card.

The shipment of data via disk can be requested in the VLA/VLBA Data Shipping Requests form (see below), which supports requests for data in CASA MeasurementSet, UVFITS, and raw Science Data Model/Binary Data Format (SDM/BDF) formats. Please note that ongoing modifications to the SDM/BDF data formats may result in older versions of CASA and/or AIPS not being able to read these files.

The data shipping policy applies to VLA and VLBA data available through the NRAO Archive. Questions about disk shipment should be directed to the NRAO Science Helpdesk.


Disk Shipping Form

The following annotated form is to be used for requesting data disk(s) from NRAO. Fields and/or buttons with the * symbol are required in order to complete the shipping request. If a required field is missing then you will be contacted by NRAO staff to complete the form before any activity will begin.

You start the process of requesting disk shipment by going to the NRAO Science Helpdesk and submitting a ticket to VLA/VLBA Disk Shipping Requests. This department can be accessed by the VLA, VLBA, or Data Products topics. Please view the annotated form below for further instructions on how to complete the form.

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