Integrating Australian Instruments

Under the Research Data Services (RDS) Image Publication initiative, three partners – VicNode, QCIF and Intersect – have integrated nearly 90 instruments with cloud-based data-management software to ensure that all data generated by these instruments is automatically captured, managed and delivered to the cloud for processing, analysis and visualisation. 

RDS Image Publication leverages investment in community developed data management tools, including MyTardis, DaRIS, OMERO and XNAT, to capture data, help researchers manage the research data lifecycle and to move data to centrally-hosted analysis environments. These tools are now deployed across a large range of instruments and institutions and are used by hundreds of researchers, including significant use at University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Monash University, ANSTO, and Australian Synchrotron.

The importance of this initiative is that it impacts a large and broad range of Australian researchers by helping researchers move data to automatically move data to the cloud and to MASSIVE.

RDS Image Publication extends a major effort under the CVL to prototype integration in specific fields: neuroimaging, structural biology and atom probe microscopy. Key to this effort and the outcomes in Image Publication has been the development of the MyData app that makes instrument integration and data capture at the instrument simpler, therefore allowing instrument facility managers to integrate instruments themselves and make the process less reliant on specialist IT or eResearch support. This allows instrument integration to scale: a large cohort of instrument can be supported with central support across a modest number of data storage nodes, and with minimal local technical support.

Instruments integrated under this initiative using MyTardis include:

  • Advanced light microscope, including fluorescence and confocal microscopes, and super resolution microscopes;
  • A range of electron microscopes including scanning electron and transmission electron microscopes;
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) instruments.
  • Cell sorters and analyzers; and
  • Atom probe microscope.

In addition, this project underpins existing efforts at Australian Synchrotron MX1 and MX2, plus new instruments at ANSTO.