The OCTOPUS (Optics Clustered to Output Unique Solutions) facility, part of STFC’s Central Laser Facility based in the Research Complex at Harwell in Oxfordshire, is a new concept in laser imaging, in which multiple light sources are linked to multiple imaging stations allowing a combination of fluorescence microscopy techniques to be brought to bear on the samples under investigation. OCTOPUS rallies expertise, techniques and infrastructure to generate and exploit data for understanding biological processes at the molecular level from cells to single molecules. Critical to fully realising the potential of the imaging data from this variety of complementary imaging methods is scalable and robust management, processing, visualisation and interpretation of this information.

OCTOPUS will use ICAT to store and manage its wide variety of both raw data and processed data, using a customised web interface building on TopCAT, linking this with management of data processing and visualisation on STFC computing facilities through a new service, the ICAT Job Portal (IJP). Metadata is extracted from files and added to the catalogue for searchability. This will be integrated with other systems, such as OMERO, so that additional services can be provided to OCTOPUS users.