AzScienceNet Network Management Center (IIT of ANAS) connects research and educational institutions in Azerbaijan to the network and continues to add new connections. The foremost objective is to connect as many institutes and universities as possible to the internationally interconnected research and education network and provide them with services introduced by GÉANT through AzScienceNet and the EU-funded EaPConnect project. Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory is the latest research organisation to join AzScienceNet, following discussions in early December.

Head of AzScienceNet Network Management Center Babak Nabiyev and Deputy Head of the Center Tural Mustafayev visited the Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) of the Azerbaijanian National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) on 8-10 December 2021.  During the visit, a meeting was held with officials of SAO and the Mountainous Shirvan Regional Branch of Aztelekom LLC of the Ministry of Digital Development and Communications, and a number of issues were clarified during the discussions.

Based on the collected information, cooperation between the two organisations was agreed: this will lead to the improvement of the observatory’s internal network infrastructure and Internet service, which in turn will allow researchers there to use cloud computing, cloud storage, and other services. A virtual network (VLAN) will be leased and configured through the AzTelecom Internet Provider to connect the SAO network to the AzScienceNet network.

This connection will allow the storage and archiving of data generated from Stanford VLF Data equipment in connection with the Atmospheric Air Education System for Effect Observation and Modeling – a project of Stanford University’s Faculty of Electronic Engineering.

It was stressed that it is necessary to take measures in accordance with the requirements of international network standards in all buildings, to purchase equipment and reconstruct the Wi-Fi network and to provide the relevant buildings of the observatory with a high-speed fiber-optic communication channel, to improve the internal network infrastructure of the building, in particular, the building where the Telescope-Zeiss-2000 reflector is located. After the connection of SAO, it is planned to install the global research and education WiFi roaming service eduroam at the observatory.

These measures will establish a direct link between two branches of the SAO – in Baku and Shamakhi – allowing SAO employees to exchange information with each other more easily.

The addition of SAO will bring the number of institutes and universities that are connected to the AzScienceNet network to 61; the number of connected organisations is expected to increase further in the near future.