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IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (FM17) — Joint with TCC

Weds Oct 5 2005 @ 19.00-21.30 Local Time (El Escorial)


Logistics

  • The Exec meeting will be held at the Euroforum (ADASS XV location) - Room Artico (1st floor)

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes of TM16
  3. Review of Actions
  4. Reports from VO projects (to be uploaded to web page)
  5. Reports from WGs
  6. Approval of Proposed Recommendations
  7. Progress on Technical Roadmap
    • review of milestones
    • general review on technical progress
    • Data Models for Catalog/Table
    • Status of STC
  8. Reorganization of WG/IG
    • Split Grid/WS WG ??
    • Semantics ??
  9. Prague 2006 conference: see report below
  10. IVOA Calendar
  11. AOB
  12. Summary of Actions


Reports from the Projects

ArVO


AstroGrid

A few brief highlights :

  • We released an upgrade of our V1.0 system, imaginatively called v1.1
  • We have been touring UK departments showing people how to use the system
  • The Russian VO successfully deployed a complete system using AstroGrid infrastructure software
  • With our US NVO colleagues, we have demonstrated international interoperability of VOStore
  • We are increasingly integrating AstroGrid software with other European software, especially at CDS, ESO, and ESA. The AstroGrid Client Runtime has proved a successful and easy way to write applications for the VO
  • We recently suffered from a rather bad hack in Leicester which took down AstroGrid services at a politically unfortunate time. This has made clear the importance of a multiple deployed base of key services.


China-VO

Progress report of China-VO Since the last IVOA exec meeting, the China-VO obtained some progress in the following areas.

In August, VOFilter 2.0, an XML filter for OpenOffice, was released to the VO community. Using VOFilter, VOTable files can be loaded in OpenOffice 2.0 Calc application. VOFilter 2.0 is a major upgrade of VOFilter 1.0 with supporting of VOTable 1.1 Recommendation and OpenDocument XML file format. OpenDocument XML file format is adopted as the default file format by OpenOffice 2.0.

In September, VOTable2XHTML, an XSLT stylesheet was released. Using the XML stylesheet, VOTable files can be displayed by most modern web browsers as usual HTML webpages.

The first China-VO prototype, Galactic Spiral Arms study by 2MASS selected OB associations, is nearly finished. The initial result shows it will be a scientific worthy prototype.

In September, three graduate students joined the China-VO team. Their graduate study is about SkyMouse, VO education and data mining. SkyMouse is an intelligent VO client application to access to various of VO services thought only “MouseOver” action. At present, two different early versions for technical preview have been developed, which show the SkyMouse will be a very interesting VO application when it is completed.

The China-VO 2005 is under preparation, which will be held in late November.


CVO


DRACO Italy

The DRACO project will reach its end in December 2005. The main purpose of its activity, i.e. porting on the grid a number of applications of astrophysical interest, has already been successfully reached. Of particular interest to the VO, a service allowing access to IVOA-compliant registry services and databases within the grid structure has been implemented in close collaboration with the CNAF team of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, closely involved with the EU EGEE project. Furthermore, a pilot grid element allowing monitoring of instrumentation is being finalised. These results (presented at ADASS XV) have generated a funding request to the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) of the European Union (EU) involving other scientific domains (high energy physics, synchrotron facilities) and two SMEs.

IA2, the INAF data centre, is about to release a first IVOA-compliant beta version for restricted use to allow access to TNG data, aimed at supporting in the future access to the LBT data acquired during the Italian time. As for access to the data of space-borne instruments hosted at ASDC, the contract between ASI and INAF including this activity has been signed: INAF is now managing the ASDC staff in close coordination with the ASI’s Universe Sciences Unit. The willingness of both parties to adapt the ASDC archives in order to meet IVOA standards was re-confirmed. Both IA2 and ASDC are involved in the Euro-VO Data Centres Alliance proposal submitted to EU/FP6.

In June DRACO and CINECA co-organised a meeting to initialise the work for the Italian Theoretical VO (TVO). A simplified data storage model, based on preliminary results of the IVOA Special Interest Group, was proposed and is being discussed. This work is coordinated with the INAF contribution to the Design Study (DS) #4 of the VO-Tech project (building tools to compare theoretical and observational data), funded by EU/FP6. Within the VO-Tech project (Stage01), work on generalised UCDs and ontology (DS5) and on 3D visualisation and data mining techniques (DS6) has been furthermore done.

The Information Systems Unit of INAF (INAF-SI) started its activities as a separate structure in August. Among its tasks is the coordination of distributed processing and archiving activities. To fulfil the obligations of the Euro-VO MoU, INAF will separately fund grid and VO activities through INAF-SI. The amount of this funding for fiscal year 2006 is currently being negotiated; efforts to complement the INAF contribution with external funding will be in any case pursued.


Euro-VO

Euro-VO Report, July 2005-September 2005

- EURO-VO MoU issued by Peter Quinn for signature to the eight partners: ESO, ESA, ASTROGRID, INAF (Italy), INSU (France), INTA (Spain), NOVA (The Netherlands), PPARC (UK), RDS (Germany)

- EURO-VO Science Advisory Committee soon to be put together

- new proposal to the European Community for the EURO-VO Data Centre Alliance (led by Francoise Genova) submitted Sept. 2005

- normal follow-up work through already available technology projects:

VOTECH: Cycle 1 completed, plans for Cycle 2 have been defined; details at http://wiki.eurovotech.org/bin/view/VOTech/WebHome

ESA VO: new full harvestable VO resources registry at http://esavo.esa.int/registry/

- contribution to IVOA standards definitions (SLAP, TSAP, Line DM, VOStore)

- preparation of the IVOA Interoperability meeting in ESAC on 6-7/10/2005 (http://esavo.esa.int/InterOpOct2005/)


France VO

France VO Report, July 2005-September 2005

Françoise Genova, 3 September 2005

Main France VO actions during the last three months:

(1) Preparation of the 'Thematic school' The Virtual Observatory, a new tool for scientists - 7-9 November 2005, Obernai (near Strasbourg

France VO 'Thematic school', supported by CNRS, is taking shape. The schedule and content can be found on the Web site: http://www.france-vo.org/twiki/bin/view/ASOVFrance/ProgrammeEcole2005

Several themes will be addressed: Study of planets, Sun/Earth relations, Stellar studies, Interstellar medium, Galaxies, Cosmology, with in each domain dedicated time for presentation of one or several science cases, of existing tools, and discussion of other science cases and of useful tools that should be developed. Parallel sessions will allow further discussion of several aspects: solar system on one hand, stars and galaxies on the other hand (fist parallel sessions); numerical simulations on one hand, data (images, spectra, data cubes, time series) on the other hand (second parallel sessions).

More than 42 participants have registered to attend the school, covering a wide range of sub-domains of astronomy.

(2) Organisation of 'Thematic meetings'

On proposals received following its second 2005 AO, France VO will fund the organisation of thematic meetings in the following domains (discussion groups, tutorials on technical aspects):

  • Spectroscopy
  • VO in Planetology
  • Workshop on the integration of codes and numerical simulation products in the VO
  • Workflow Working Group
  • Presentation of database management tools (SITools, SAADA)
  • Web services - XML

In addition, a second tutorial for developers covering all basic aspects of the development of a VO-compliant service will be organised by the beginning of 2006, insupport to newcomers willing to participate in the VObs endeavour.

(3) French participation to the Madrid Interop meeting

22 participants working or willing to work on VO projects in French laboratories have registered. A significant fraction of them got partial funding of their travel costs by France VO (AO 2, 2005).


GAVO


HVO


Japan-VO

(1) Personnel There has been no change on the JVO project members.

(2) Funding proposals The proposal that was submitted in June, 2005, from National Astronomical Observatory of Japan to the Japanese government was not accepted due to severe financial situation of Japan. JVO has submitted a new proposal to the JSPS to extend the Core-to-Core program for three years (2006-2009). An interview on the proposal is scheduled on October 17th in Tokyo.

(3) Development report We measured memory consumption of the JVO prototype 3, and found the system does not release used memory after each jos has been over. This problem was fixed by implementing a memory garbage mechanism that is invoked after each job. JVO has started to design Workflow Description Language based on BPEL4WS toward operational system. JVO aims to relaese this experimental operational system to limited users in Japan in the end of March 2006.

(4) VO as the core of Japanese Astronomical Data Center It has long been discussed to reorganize NAOJ to enhance astronomical data management, and VO has been recognized to play the key roll. The discussion is schedules to finalize at the beginning of November, and a new data center will hopefully start its engine in April 2006.


Korean VO


NVO


RVO

Ivan Zolotukhin on behalf of RVO reports:

1. SAI RVO development group was organized in Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow University, in summer 2005, to meet the requirements of modern astronomy to develop unified access to astronomical data using generally adopted standards. Primary goal of the group is to develop fully functional node of Virtual Observatory in Russia and to solve typical astrophysical problems using VO technology. SAI RVO team includes 9 active members; on Sep 19, 2005 SAI RVO team has applied to Russian Foundation of a Basic Research for a 3-year grant. Team plans to solve:

- typical astrophysical problems using VO facilities:

  • supernovae statistics investigations
  • star formation history investigation in close galaxies bytheir spectra
  • search for single neutron stars
  • research in cepheids evolution field
  • search and classification of variable objects in scanned archive of 150-year long SAI observations

- technological tasks:

  • software development for basic and full Skynode based on true Open Source solutions (PostgreSQL RDBMS)

- technical tasks:

  • bringing several original SAI catalogs into VO-ready state and provide public access to them
- organisational tasks:
  • participation in VO WGs for standarts and technologies preparation
  • conducting of VO tutorials among Russian astronomical community

For the period summer-autumn 2005 SAI RVO group:

  • has developed new sky-indexing scheme -- Q3C (QuadTree Cube) and its realization for PostgreSQL RDBMS. That sky-indexing scheme allows to execute main spatial astronomical queries (Xmatch and Cone search) very fast. It works perfectly and quickly even for largest catalogues like 2MASS and USNO-B. Q3C has been developed as PostgreSQL extension and is available for free download from http://q3c.sourceforge.net/
  • has started support of ADQL translation to PostgreSQL's SQL dialect based on XSL transformation technique. XSL is platform independent standard XML technology;
  • has deployed Astrogrid software (versions 1.0, 1.1) for exploring possibility to integrate PostgreSQL support (ADQLtoPgSQL layer and Q3C indexing algorithm) into Astrogrid package.

2. In August at the Institute of informatics problems of the Russian Academy of Science (IPI RAS) with the help of the AstroGrid developers the AstroGrid 1.0 release has been installed. At the end of September this installation has been upgraded to the 1.1 release. The first astronomical problem that has been designed by IPI RAS together with the Special Astrophysical Observatory of RAS (SAO RAS) applying AstroGrid and Aladin is a distant radio galaxy search based on radio sources observed by RATAN 600. RCcatalogue has been locally installed in DSA specially configured for that and registered in publishing registry. Java Class CEA has been created to get access to the distant SDSS server. Thus optical sources according to certain criteria could be obtained. A workflow has been specified with steps providing RCcatalogue search, SDSS search, crossmatching of the results with AstroGrid CEA Application CrossMatcher v2. Aladin has been used (as CEA application) to obtain respective radio and optic images to correlate them and provide for further analysis from MySpace through Aladin.

AstroGrid is planned to be used as a part of the RVO information infrastructure. Practically current installation is planned to be opened in October for the Russian astronomical community to support astronomical problem solving over distributed repositories of astronomical inormation (containing data of observation, results of problem solving, services for data and knowledge analysis, etc.).


SVO


VO-India






Reports from WGs


Grid and Web Services Working Group

VOStore and VOSpace

VOStore prototypes are being prepared at CalTech, Cambridge, JHU and ESO for an interoperabilty demonstration at ADASS. We should be able to demonstrate exchange of data between these various implementations of the file-oriented VOStores. One probable use-case is AstroGrid CEA applications accessing ESO and NVO stores.

There has been a lively discussion on the group mailing lists on the division of function between the VOStore and future VOSpace layers. This seems to disrupt the consensus that VOStore manages metadata such as file ownership and access rights and VOSpace manages the relationships between files. In order to finish VOStore 1.0 by early 2006, as planned, we will have to remake this consensus at the Madrid meeting. It may be helpful to designate VOStore 1.0 as a temporary standard that can be replaced when the details of VOSpace are agreed. In the meantime, VOStore as it appears in v0.18 would be very useful to the IVO.

Security

AstroGrid has now implemented basic digital signature for web services. NVO (CalTech, JHU, NCSA) have previously implemented this, so we have a quorum of implemenations. The VOStore prototypes for ADASS use these authentication systems, so we should soon know how interoperable they are.

NVO have community services for dispensing user proxy-certificates in line with the agreements at Kyoto. We don't have a second interoperating implementation, but it may be that we don't need one for this area; I intend to raise this at the interop meeting.

We lack both a clear specification and a prototype for an attribute service (needed to support community-defined groups).

We also lack a specification for exactly how we do delegation of credentials to services; this was glossed over at Kyoto and is actually less clear than previously thought. There seem to be several implementations of the basic restricted-proxy idea that are not compatible in detail. We need to decide which we will follow.

It is still reasonable to expect a PR at the end of the year, but it may be best to split off the part dealing with the community services and submit that later. I expect to have an updated draft of the message-protocol specification for the Madrid interop.

VO Support Interfaces and basic profile

VO Suppotr interfaces has missed its target of a full recommendation in August, and will probably slip further. This is because of a lack of reference implemenations which in turn is due to problems with getting the complex IVOA schemata to work in low-end web-service toolkits. It's now clear that we need to check the schemata for feasibility. There is now a draft schema for the availability structure.

VO basic profile is essentially ready for standardization once VO support interfaces.

Universal worker service

No progress here. Clearly it's going to slip into 2006 unless we get more people to work on it.


UCD WG

The following is the list of actions decided in the last InterOpMay2005 meeting (Kyoto), with the present status:

1. Set up within June the two Boards (Sci-Board and Tech-Board) described in the main UCD document. Status: done. The Sci-Board is in charge of discussing, proposing and validating changes to the official list of UCD-words. It is the key element of the procedure for updating the list. The procedure has indeed been used (see action n.3 below)

2. Reach the status of IVOA Rec for the UCD document. Status: done. The version 1.10 of the UCD-doc is now (12-Sep-05) an IVOA Rec.

3. Move the list-of-words document from WD to PR and Rec. Status: after a lively discussion in the Sci-Board, a list of words was agreed upon and uploaded (13-Jul-05) in the IVOA Doc repository as PR. An RFC was issued to the interop list the 25-Aug-05, with a reminder the 16-Sep-05. At the end of the RFC period (21-Sep-05) 22 comments from 4 people were received. The PR-to-Rec procedure will be completed for the Madrid meeting


Data Models WG

The DM working group is proceeding on several fronts.

The Spectral Data Model document has been updated to reflect minor changes, and has been reformatted.

At SAO, implementation of a Java software library to convert between the different supported Spectral Data Model formats is nearly complete (alpha release expected in October-November). VOTable support is layered on Mark Taylor's STIL implementation.

The CDS group are refining the characterization model and have held discussions with A. Micol, I. Chilingarian, A. Richards and B. Thomas; they will present a draft at the Interop. Igor Chilingarian will also present further work on modifying SIA and the Characterization data model for services providing spatial-spectral data cubes.

Arnold has been working on the STC-Lite model to support simple descriptions for Space-Time coordinates. There has been some discussion about the design purity of having a separate STC-Lite schema and we hope to resolve this in Madrid.

The Atomic Line data model group has issued a first internal draft model (Osuna, Dubernet et al). A meeting in Paris 27-28 Sep to discuss it will be attended by McDowell and representatives from the Madrid and Paris groups.

Osuna et al. are working on models for source catalogs and source properties. This work remains at an early stage.


Data Access Layer WG

The Data Access Layer working group has been active in the following areas:

  • An update to the SSA query interface (V0.91) was issued to incorporate changes resulting from the discussions in Kyoto. The SSA data model has been renamed the spectral data model and an updated document has been released by the data models group incorporating this and other changes, also from the discussions in Kyoto.

  • A draft of the SLAP simple line access protocol for spectral line data has been produced and will be discussed in the Madrid interop.

  • L.Dobos (JHU) has produced the first working version of the V0.9 SSA interface which can query and return spectra from the Sloan DR4 catalog.

  • A first version of a Java VO-client library was produced for the NVO summer school. This implements the client side of the DAL queries including parsing the query response VOTable to extract the data model attributes, and provision of a method for retrieving datasets. The library is a class hierarchy with a "generic dataset" at the root with specialized queries for cone search, SIA, and SSA (the latter is a incomplete at this stage). Support for SkyNode/ADQL is planned. This Java implementation is a first step in the planned VO-Client facility which will provide data analysis applications with a portal/API to the VO. This will include integrated support for VOStore for asychronous i/o and for caching data locally on the client system.

  • D.Durand (CADC) and F.Bonnarel and others at CDS have conducted the first end-to-end test of the new SIA metadata extension mechanism. In one case radio spectral data cubes from the CGPS survey are published with each cube being a logical association of 2D images. The extension metadata allows the 2D images to be associated in the client as a spectral data cube. Modifications to Aladin allow individual planes of the spectral access to be selected and viewed in the multiview display.

  • An SIA service returning WCS augmented graphics files (jpg, png, gif) has been implemented in a collaboration between ESO and CDS.

  • A simple footprint service for visualizing query result sets in VOTable format has been designed and partially implemented as a collaboration between ESO and CDS. This is a second test of the new SIA metadata extension mechanism.

  • Investigations continue into how best to add support for asynchronous i/o (data staging) to the DAL interfaces, SIA in particular. This is being coordinated with G&WS and now VOEvent.

  • F.Bonnarel, D.Durand, and D.Tody met at ESO during the Euro-VO workshop to discuss issues relating to the planned SIA V1.1 release. The target date for release of the draft SIA V1.1 specification is early 2006.


Registry WG


Document Standards WG -


VOEvent WG

The VOEvent Working Group has produced Working Draft 1.0, an XML specification for an immediate astronomical event. Rob Seaman (NOAO) has been very active. There are sections on Who is responsible, What was measured, Wherewhen was the observation in the sky, How it was observed, and hypotheses about Why the event occurred. The transport model is based on Author, Publisher, and Subscriber. The Author is responsible for the scientific content, the Publisher issues a global identifier for each event, distributes events, and retains them for future queries. Subscribers receive event from Publishers, either immediately or in response to queries.

The next work is building prototypes and evaluating them, before the next draft of the standard. Also in the future standard will be standard query and subscription methods.

On prototypes:

-- The Raptor project at Los Alamos and the UK eStar project are exchanging VOEvents, and also converting the NASA/GCN feed to VOEvent and pushing it to subscribers.

-- The VOEventNet project (Caltech/Berkeley/LANL/NOAO) has funding and will build a Publisher from Carnivore registry software, and also an event factory from the Palomar-Quest survey.

-- At the NVO Summer School, a prize-winning VOEvent project was a pipeline: An event factory built from flare observations by the American Association for Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), then addition of digital signature, vetoing the event against solar-system objects, and building a finding chart. The stream was accessible through a subscription client. http://chart.stsci.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/VoEventDemo

-- VOEvent II in Tucson A second VOEvent workshop is planned for December 5/6 in Tucson, organized by Rob Seaman, underwritten by NVO, LSST, and NOAO. All are invited.


VOTable WG

The main goal for the next IVOA meeting is to have a working schema which can make a proper link to STC for the description of the astrometry contained in VOTables -- but it seems impossible to find a solution without touching the STC definitions.


VOQL WG

IVOA-VOQL

1) Work has been done in editing ADQL and SkyNode Specification WDs with the goal of promoting them to PR and later on to Recommendations. The new chairs considered that is best to simplify and generalize the current WD specifications to minimize the impact that imposes migrating to a new protocol version. Moving from 0.7 to 0.9 (1.0) is already a painful enough transition.

2) It is under discussion where to include the XMATCH function definition and how to define them.

ESAVO

3) ESA/ESAC has published a style sheet to translate between a subset of ADQL and SQL

JVO

4) JVO plans to make a second release of the JVO SkyNode toolkit for building a Skynode with DAL integration and cross match functionality. It also includes Java translator for ADQL/s <--> ADQL/x. This release is assumed to be done after the IVOA meeting in Madrid.

NVO-VOQL

5) DAL and ADQL integration

- very preliminary discussion about how to use ADQL to query DAL services

- http://dev.openskyquery.net has a prototype version of using OpenSkyQuery to query SIAP services and display images.

6) a FULL SkyNode Java implementation was released for the second NVO Summer School in September 2005

7) Work has been started to implement a parallel system that will allow for Large-scale catalog and cross-match queries.

No further information has been reported from others that the chairs of this WG have captured as September 23rd 2005.


Applications IG

The Applications Interest Group is active with contributers from across many VO projects.

The main role played so far has been as a forum for announcing releases of VO tools, services and libraries. Examples include announced updates to tools like Aladin and TOPCAT, but also tools for applications infrastructure such as the AstroGrid Client Runtime, and software components such as the VOFilter (XML filter for OpenOffice).

The Applications wiki page contains the charter of the group, and lists of links to "User Applications", "VOTable Visualization Tools" and "VOTable Libraries". The wiki pages would benefit from a better set of links to VO applications (or to lists of links maintained by the VO projects) in order for new visitors to get a better picture of what VO applications are out there. These pages will be updated after discussion at the October Interop meeting, and with an emphasis on presenting information in a way that is informative to astronomers who may not be familiar to VO as well as for those in the VO community.

Item 2 of the charter "To provide feedback to working groups, the IVOA, and its member organizations regarding the utility and coverage of existing VO standards" is becoming more active in particular for providing input to the Registries WG on the issue of registering applications.

Most of the participants to the interest group appear to be developers and scientists who are closely linked to various VO projects. As more VO applications become available we hope to see more discussion of test- usage of VO applications, and input from real science usage of VO applications. We will probably need to motivate scientists and teams up-taking VO tools to share their experience.


Theory IG

During the session of the theory IG at the last interop meeting in Kyoto it was decided that a number of participants would write up use cases around their existing theory-VO-like efforts about which they had reported on at the meetig. The plan was(is) to publish these use cases on the theory group's wiki pages and to derive from them requirements for theory data publication and services for the IVOA working groups. The hope was that by half August a number of use cases would have been submitted and that we could have started on composing a document with requirements so that these could be discussed at the Madrid interop.

This goal is not completely achieved. As yet there are four use cases posted, or (as of 2005-09-23) in the process to be posted (Munich has suffered from very patchy internet connectivity this week and the wiki pages have not been available the last few days). This means the process of extracting requirements has not yet started. Nevertheless the hope is that we will have a sufficient number of use case, which will be presented and discussed in Madrid after which we can start defining requirements and have a v0.9 document for discussion by the next interop.

The persons working on use cases are:

  • Laurie Shaw (large scale structure)
  • Dave De Young, who was going to try to get contributions from Peter Teuben/Piet Hut ("medium scale" simulations)
  • Enrique Solano and Pedro Osuna (theory spectra, use case currently being written)
  • Marie Lise Dubernet, taken over by Franck Le Petit (atomic scales, document submitted, will write use case on twiki before interop)
  • Gerard Lemson (cluster and large scale structure simulations, two use cases under development on twiki)
  • Tamas Budavari (theory spectra, was added to this list after the Kyoto meeting).


Data Curation and Preservation IG

The Kyoto meeting established four priority areas. Within each area, the activities that have been conducted are listed.

Priority: 1. Policies for capturing digital data (images, graphical data based on digital representation) in an approved form

IVOA needs to define the approved encoding formats for digital data. The current standards that could be used are:

  • images. FITS format
  • tabular data. VOTable format.
  • Binary data. Possibilities are the Hierarchical Data Format v5, or the emerging Data Format Description Language XML-based description for binary data.

2. Standard metadata capture for catalog entries (CDS) - document describing practice

  • A list of CDS tools for metadata validation is needed.
  • Tools should include:
    • Validation of metadata based on extraction of FITS header information. This capability has been built into the SRB data grid.
    • Validation of consistency of star locations with associated images.

3. Preservation repository example (mechanism includes physical storage space, software to manage storage, digital library interface)

  • Tools for validating submissions:
    • An ISO standard is available for describing producer-archive submission pipelines. An implementation has been created by the University of Maryland as part of a prototype persistent archive for NARA. Interactions with publishers
    • A presentation was given at the Council of Science Editors on institutional repositories. The publishers attending this meeting were quite interested in supporting standards for preservation, and agreed to contact Robert Hanisch.
  • Current tools available from existing repositories
    • FITS validation tool  very general compliance to standard
    • CSA Semantic validation tool description is needed
    • Sextractor validation tool for star locations needs to be demonstrated
  • IVOA compliant repository
    • A DSpace instance has been created with an associated 5 TBs of storage space. The system may be used to store small image collections.

4. Interactions with existing preservation groups

  • IAU working group for digitization and preservation of photographic plates
    • This group should be contacted by Francoise.
  • Digital Library preservation efforts
    • A DSpace / SRB system has been created in which the DSpace curation services can be used to manage data stored in a SRB data grid. The system supports registration of existing SRB collections into a DSpace digital library.
    • A Fedora / SRB system has been created and is in test. This will allow Fedora services to be applied to SRB collections.

A preservation project is underway as part of the Large Scale Synoptic Telescope. The components include:

  • Demonstration that standard projections of images can be made through using the Mosaic tools developed by IPAC/Caltech. The tools are being applied to the 2MASS 10-TB image collection, and the resulting plates are being stored in the Caltech HyperAtlas using the Storage Resource Broker data grid.
  • Validation of the standard projections. The plates generated for the HyperAtlas are being analyzed to extract star locations. The goal is to compare the characterization of the extracted objects with the published 2MASS catalog to define relative accuracy in location and magnitude. The expectation is that the standard star extraction algorithms will produce less detail, not resolve to the same magnitude level, but the locations will be well-defined. The products will be stored in SRB data grids, replicated across storage systems, and accessed through NVO services.

Reagan Moore




Report on Prague Developments

INVITES

Based on the voting of SOC members, the definite "must haves" were :

Cesarsky, Tsyon, Szalay, Kuijken, Khembhavi, Foster, Quinn, Rees, and Gilmore.

I have invited all of these and all have said at least a provisional yes, except for Tyson, who has not yet replied. For Rees and Cesarsky, their attendance may depend on precisely how we schedule the programme.

The second popularity layer (at least three votes) had Ostriker, Peebles, and Okuda. Below this were about half a dozen others with one or two votes each. Given that we have scored well above, I would propose to invite just two of the above - Peebles and Okuda. We also did not have a good solar person with several votes. Possibilities mentioned were Bob Bentley or Frank Hill who are both excellent, but not the same kind of pulling power as above. I propose to invite Hill.

WEB SITE

The IAU contacted me and asked for a conference web site to link to. This should really mean proper PR style web pages rather than the wiki pages. I have asked PQ whether ESO/ST-ECF could handle this, and this is being considered. However this might take a while and so I will perhaps do a minimal tidying up of the wiki pages as a temporary link.

Advice welcome.

TELECON

I should put together a timeline and then we should perhaps have a proper SOC telecon. I would target this for beginning of November ? Comments welcome.

This would need to consider :

  • Final invited speaker list
  • Revised draft programme
  • How to organise and publicise call for papers
  • Timeline
  • Progress on seeding science result talks

ORGANISATION

There is a bit of a gulf between the big formal SOC, and little ole me plugging away. I guess we need a small working group to take things forward.


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