Hinode Science Data Centre Europe

The science data centre (SDC) archives and disseminates all data from the Japanese solar satellite Hinode and the NASA Small Explorer Satellite Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS).

Hinode Spacecraft
The Hinode spacecraft was launched from Uchinoura Space Center in Japan in 2006. Led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Hinode mission is a collaboration between the space agencies of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.  Illustration: NASA.

About the project

Hinode Science Data Centre Europe is run by the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo on behalf of the Norwegian Space Centre (NSC). Researchers from many different countries (mainly European researchers) are accessing the Hinode SDC Europe (UK, Germany, Norway, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, France, Greece, Russia, Czech Rep, Austria, Belgium, etc.). 

So far, 1176 papers in refereed journals have been published using data from Hinode (currently 80-90 per year) and 225 papers with data from IRIS (currently 65 per year). 36% of those papers have a first author from Europe.


All data are made available through advanced and very efficient search pages, primarily to users in Europe but also to other countries. Auxilliary data, like thumbnails, wavelength calibrated data, active region identifications, etc are calculated and provided. All web searches are also given in the equivalent IDL source code to enable efficient searches from scripts. In 2017, 3110 distinct hosts accessed the site and 115000 files were downloaded. Usage statistics can be found at sdc.uio.no.

The emphasis on user needs and very efficient searches through the usage of caching and custom-made code has made the centre the most popular data centre for Hinode data with a wide usage also outside Europe.


Thanks to the IRIS project and the FP7 SOLARNET project, the data centre was expanded to also include all data from IRIS and a few 3D numerical radiation MagnetoHydroDynamical simulations were also added.

As part of the new services that will be available for users during the current SOLARNET project, the centre will be expanded to contain a wide variety of numerical simulations, including synthetic observables derived from those, and also gradually make available fullycalibrated datasets from the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST).


The extensive experience with handling of large data sets from space and ground based observations as well as numerical simulations has made ITA particularly suited for hosting a European data centre for Hinode. As a result, the track record shows that the archive has far exceeded the original requirements.


Searching, browsing and retrieval of data is accomplished in a quick and efficient manner. Data are accessible to European scientists through a web portal serving as a front end to an appropriate subset of the database functionality. 

In order to maximize the uptime of the system, the SDC has backup systems for the delivery of power, and redundancy in the computer and disk systems. Backup is implemented by maintaining a database mirror at a separate location on University of Oslo grounds. The proximity of the database mirror to Norway’s primary link to the internet in the rest of the world ensures that the only single-points of failure within Norway is one or two routers/switches (under constant monitoring) plus Norway’s connection to the Internet.


Current and future efforts within the solar physics area, building on the earlier missions, focus on international collaboration. Participation as Co-investigators in the EIS instrument on the Hinode mission is one part of the collaboration.


The funding comes from three sources: The European Space Agency through a contract with the Norwegian Space Agency, The European Union through the SOLARNET project and the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo.

Project period

2004 - 2023

Tags: Hinode spacecraft
Published Jan. 5, 2022 12:26 PM - Last modified Jan. 6, 2022 2:24 PM