Overview of the Phase 3 Process

The Phase 3 process consists of the following steps:

1. Define new data release - 2. Delegate Phase 3 permissions - 3. Prepare the data - 4. Validate the data - 5. Upload the data to ESO - 6. Create and upload the release description - 7. Closing the release - 8. ESO validates the submitted data - 9. ESO archives and publishes the data

1. Define new data release

Go to the Phase 3 Release Manager, a dedicated web application for controlling the Phase 3 process, to define a new data release. As the principal investigator of an ESO programme you organise your data products according to appropriate high-level criteria into self-consistent groups, called data collections, which, subsequently, the archive user can browse and access. Later on you may issue further releases to add more data or to update already released data products.

More about the concepts of data collection and release, see the Phase 3 User Guide, Sect. 4.5.

2. Delegate Phase 3 permissions

As the principal investigator you can delegate the Phase 3 process for your ESO programme to one or more persons of your choice to distribute the effort of data submission and release preparation.

How to set up Phase 3 delegation, see the Phase 3 User Guide, Sect. 4.4

3. Prepare the data

The data should be prepared according to the ESO External Data Products standard which specifies data product types and their formats.

Download the ESO Science Data Products Standard

4. Validate the data

You validate the data before uploading them to ESO using the Phase 3 Release Validator, a java-based tool to be run locally on your system. Re-run the validator tool on your revised data till the validator returns OK with no errors on execution. You can then upload your data to the ESO staging area.

Download the software and its documentation

5. Upload the data to ESO

You upload the data via secure FTP to the dedicated server phase3ftp.eso.org. For this purpose a suitable client like lftp or FileZilla has to be used.

Find more information about the FTP upload

6. Create and upload the release description

You create and upload the data release description, which provides an account of the release content, the originating observations, the calibration and data reduction procedures, the data quality, the data format, and, possibly, the scientific context of the programme.

More about the preparation and submission of the data release description

7. Closing the release

By closing the release you approve the completeness and correctness of the submitted data and their description. Furthermore, you agree to the publication of the data and the associated data release description. You close the data release using the Phase 3 Release Manager.  Once the data release is closed, the FTP area becomes read-only and you cannot modify the uploaded files or add any files to the release, without intervention of an ESO operator.

More about closing the data release, see the Phase 3 User Guide, Sect. 4.8.

8. ESO validates the submitted data

This is a two-step process, consisting of an automatic validation of the data format followed by the content validation of the data and their description by the ESO operator. If the validation fails, the release state will change from CLOSED to ERROR, and you will be notified via email. You will be able to access the data release file again, modify them so that there problem is resolved, and once the revised data are uploaded, set the release
to CLOSE again.

9. ESO archives and publishes the data

The data release will be archived and becomes public after the validation process has been concluded. The community will be able to access the data via specifc query interfaces in the ESO archive web pages. You will be notified about the actual date of public release.

Go to the ESO Science Archive Facility


Find more detailed information about the overall procedure in the Phase 3 User Guide [PDF].