The EXPReS project
Data from radio astronomy projects was previously collected at each telescope on magnetic tapes and later onto hard disk. These physical media had to be transported by courier, taking several days to reach their destination.
Now, information is sent from telescopes to the central computer in just seconds, enabling astronomers to create real-time views of the outer reaches of the universe.
The EXPReS project uses dedicated high-speed GÉANT links to connect remote radio telescopes across Europe to a central data processor at JIVE, the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry in Europe, situated in the Netherlands. Here the enormous volumes of simultaneous observation data that are transmitted over the network are correlated to form very sharp, high-definition images of cosmic radio sources.
Use of high-speed network links has also enabled "Target of Opportunity" and "Rapid Response" science, giving the ability to observe unexpected astronomical events such as supernova explosions and gamma ray bursts.