IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (FM38)

Monday December 6 @ 17.00-19.00

Supplementary: Thursday December 9 @ 12.30-14.00


Monday meeting in the Asu-nara Room, Nikko Nara Hotel

Thursday meeting in Room 4 Nara Prefecture New Public Hall

DRAFT Agenda FM38

  1. Roll Call and Agenda
  2. Minutes of TM37
  3. Status of Actions
  4. Project Reports - Significant Events Only
  5. Report of the TCG meeting and TCG status
  6. Reports by WGs - WG Chairs
  7. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  8. Inactive IVOA members (PP)
  9. Possible new IVOA members (PP)
  10. IVOA Interops: attendance and frequency (all)
  11. IVOA basic standards: what's still missing? (all)
  12. Proposal for an IVOA Education Interest Group (all)
  13. Data center review of IVOA standards (BH, all)
  14. Future Interops (FP, AK)
  15. Date of next meeting (TM39)
  16. AOB
  17. Summary of Actions

Reports from the Projects






China-VO 2010 was held successfully at Lijiang, Yunnan from Nov. 25-28. China-VO 2010 is the 9th annual meeting organized by the China-VO project. The theme of the meeting is "From VO to Astroinformatics". About 80 representatives from nationwide observatories, universities and companies attended the meeting. For more information please visit:

http://www.china-vo.org/events/cvo2010/ (Sorry, the website is in Chinese)



See the report posted on the TM39 meeting page.



France VO

See the report posted on the TM39 meeting page.





The primary activities of the VAO from the award of NSF Cooperative Agreement No. 0834235 to the VAO, LLC have been associated with the placement of subawards and the development of the Project Execution Plan. Final subaward agreements have been signed and placed with all organizations. Invoices are being received and payments are being made per the schedules defined for each organization in the subaward. Drawdowns on the NSF award are being made to cover subaward costs and those costs associated with the management and governance of the VAO.

Over the summer months, the VAO Program Council worked diligently to create the Project Execution Plan, or PEP. The PEP describes in detail the products and services that will be created and/or supported by the VAO, giving a general plan for five years and a specific plan for Years 1 and 2 of the program. The PEP was submitted on time, 90 days following the start of the Cooperative Agreement, on 13 August 2010.

The VAO, LLC Board of Directors held its first face-to-face meeting in Washington, DC on 29-30 July 2010. The primary matter of business was a review of the PEP, which requires Board approval prior to submission to NSF and NASA. The Board endorsed the PEP with a few recommendations, which were implemented prior to submission of the PEP to the agencies. The Board also updated the terms of the Board members, VAO officers, and VAO director to be better aligned with the Cooperative Agreement.

The VAO held its first all-hands team meeting on 30 September–1 October 2010 at the headquarters of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our primary goal was to make sure all staff involved in VAO operations and development understood their roles and responsibilities toward the PEP, and to confirm the scope and schedule defined therein. No significant issues arose. Several minor modifications to the PEP were identified and submitted to the agencies; these are matters of clarification only, not changes in scope or deliverables.

Prior NASA support for several of the VAO organizations (HEASARC at GSFC, IPAC at Caltech, and ~25% of the efforts at STScI) allowed us to continue a basic level of operational support for the extant NVO applications and tools, including aliveness and compliance testing of VO services. Our group at Caltech also completed the transition of the IVOA Web site from ESO, where it had been hosted since 2002. VAO personnel also continued their participation in IVOA Working Groups and Interest Groups, helping to bring several IVOA standards to endorsement as Recommendations.

-- BobHanisch


RVO progress report (Dec 2010)

1. Working group "Technologies of RVO information structures" (IPI RAS, led by Leonid Kalinichenko)

At the Institute of informatics problems of RAS the VO approaches based on the mediation of heterogeneous distributed information resources have been applied to the problem of calibration of photometry of optical GRB afterglow. This problem has been formulated by the Institute of Space Research of RAS. The ontology and conceptual model of the respective application domain was defined. These specifications, on the one hand, are absolutely independent on the resources (catalogs) that might be chosen for the computations, and on the other hand, they constitute a definition of the mediator. Several catalogs were selected and registered at the mediator for creation of an integrated database, including USNO, 2MASS, SDSS, VSX, UCAC, NSVS, GSVC. The mediation infrastructure that includes AstroGrid inside, allowed to formulate the problem declaratively in conceptual terms and provided for the integrated access to the registered catalogs during the computations.

Also at the Institute of informatics problems of RAS the subject mediation infrastructure has been extended in the direction of stream data processing support. The wrapper for accessing stream data sources has been developed. With this extension the mediation infrastructure becomes applicable to such problems as e.g. construction of light curves of eclipsing variables, identification of a gravitational microlensing event, etc.

2. The database of Moscow astronomical plate collection and maintenance of the General Catalogue of Variable Stars (INASAN and SAI MSU, led by Nikolai Samus)

We have prepared to submission the first of the three parts of the 80th Name-list of Variable Stars (2037 stars, among them 2019 variables at right ascensions from 0 to 6 hours and 18 rare-type variables of the whole sky). Virtually ready is the second part of the list (about 2200 stars in the RA range from 6 to 16 часов). In 2010, GCVS names were immediately given to 8 Novae or rare-type variables. We published a catalog of accurate equatorial coordinates for variable stars in globular clusters (about 3400 stars in 103 clusters). A completely revised GCVS version was compiled for the constellations of Caelum and Camelopardalis (about 320 звезд); a similar work is under way for Aquila (more than 1700 stars). We improved coordinates for some 500 suspected variable stars from the NSV catalog and introduced needed changes of the catalog spectroscopic and photometric data for these stars. About 150 of the 500 stars lacked finding charts in the literature; we have been able to find all but 2 of them; about 50 of the stars were recovered by their variations in Internet-accessible images of their fields. For a number of these stars, variability types could be determined from observations available in automatic sky surveys; these stars were selected for future Name-lists. We continued comparison of positional information between the GCVS and the SIMBAD databases; dozens of mistakes in both databases have been corrected. The GCVS site remains a systematically updated web resource, frequently used and widely cited. In 2010, we introduced about 2200 corrections into the database. Some 18500 visitors of the site were recorded in 2010 (17% of them from the USA; 15%, from Russia; 6%, from Japan), with about 48000 individual hits.

We continued digitizing the Moscow plate stacks using two CREO EverSmart Supreme scanners. In 2010, we scanned 106 plates of the Sternberg Institute's 40-cm astrograph (30?30 cm, 10?10 degrees) and 214 old plates (24?30 cm). By now, the total number of scanned plates of the highest historical interest (the so-called S and T series, late 19th century to 1930s) exceeds 800; we also have scanned about 900 plates of the 40-cm astrograph. Beginning with mid-2010, we encounter technical problems with the scanners. The final paper on our search for variable stars in the 10?10-degree field centered at the star 66 Oph from scans of the 40-cm astrograph has been published. A total of 480 new variables were discovered and studied. We almost finished our search for variables in the next field of the 40-cm astrograph, centered at SA9, where we discovered 15 new variable stars. We continued compiling an electronic catalog of plates and are virtually ready with the old (S and T) plate series.

3. Working group "RVO data" (INASAN, led by Dana Kovaleva)

The list of original astronomical data resources created by Russian investigators is maintained and regularly updated. The recent update was done on September 2010. The total number of resources in the list by this date came up to 180. The updated list will appear at the web pages of RVO http://www.inasan.rssi.ru/eng/rvo/rus_res.html by the end of 2010.

4. Zvenigorod Scanlaboratory Group (INASAN, led by Sergei Vereshchagin)

The process of Astrograph astroplates scanning has been continued. In 2010 400 negatives was scanned. The fall of scanning speed connected with transition to a new format (fits). Astrograph Zeiss-400 is established in Zvenigorod Odservatory. It focus is 200 sm, lens diameter is 40 sm. The plates size is 30 on 30 sm, wide field areas of the sky equal 8 on 8 degrees.

The plates placing in a consecutive order was continued too. 3703 plates was laid in special boxes in the chronological order according to observational log entries.

The version of a database with the list of plates is established on server INASAN http://www.inasan.ru/rus/scan/ and in WFDB - http://draco.skyarchive.org/search/search.cgi

5. Publications

Vovchenko A.E., Vol'nova A.A., Denisenko D.V., Kalinichenko L.A., Kupriyanov V.V., Pozanenko A.S., Skvortchov N.A., Stupnikov S.A. "VO tools and selection of field secondary standards for photometry of gamma bursts optical afterglow", in VAK-2010 Conference, Nizhnij Arkhyz, Sep 2010

Vovchenko A.E., Kalinichenko L.A., Kostukov M.Yu. Methods and tools for subject mediators access to the streaming data. in XII All-Russian Research Conference RCDL'2010, Digital Libraries: Advanced Methods and Technologies, Digital Collections, eds. A.E.Elizarov, A.G.Abrosimov, Kazan, Oct 2010, Kazan Federal University Published Press (in Russian), 273-278.

L. A. Kalinichenko, S. A.Stupnikov, A. E. Vovchenko. Mediation Based Semantic Grid // Proc. of the 4th International Conference "Distributed Computing and Grid-technologies in Science and Education". - Dubna: JINR, 2010. - in preparation

E. Kazarovets. V1722 Aquilae = Nova Aquilae 2009. IAU Circulars, No. 9100, 2010.

E. Kazarovets. V5586 Sagittarii = Nova Sagittarii 2010 No. 2. IAU Circulars, No. 9140, 2010.

E.V. Kazarovets, E.N. Pastukhova. "A Study of Six Variable Stars". Variable Stars (Supplement), v. 10, No. 31, 2010.

E. Kazarovets, N.N. Samus. V2674 Ophiuchi = Nova Ophiuchi 2010 No. 2. IAU Circulars, No. 9119, 2010.

E. Kazarovets, N.N. Samus. V1310 Scorpii = Nova Scorpii 2010. IAU Circulars, No. 9120, 2010.

S. Kiyota, W. Vollmann, H. Koberger, K. Nishiyama, F. Kabashima, H. Maehara, E. Kazarovets, N. Samus. V5585 Sagittarii = Nova Sagittarii 2010. IAU Circulars, No. 9112, 2010.

D.M. Kolesnikova, L.A. Sat, K.V. Sokolovsky, S.V. Antipin, A.A. Belinskii, N.N. Samus. New Variable Stars on Digitized Moscow Collection Plates. The Field of 66 Ophiuchi. Astronomy Reports, v. 54, No. 11, стр. 1000-1018, 2010.

S. Nakano, H. Nishimura, K. Itagaki, K. Kadota, W. Vollmann, H. Koberger, H. Maehara, E. Kazarovets, N. Samus. V2673 Ophiuchi = Nova Ophiuchi 2010. IAU Circulars, No. 9111, 2010.

K. Nishiyama, F. Kabashima, Y. Sakurai, S. Nakano, T. Kojima, H. Nishimura, S. Kiyota, E. Guido, G. Sostero, H. Koberger, W. Vollmann, H. Maehara, A. Amorim, M. Linnolt, E. Kazarovets. V1311 Sco = N Sco 2010 No. 2. IAU Circulars, No. 9142, 2010.

N.N. Samus. On the Newest History of Variable-Star Astronomy. Istoriko-Astronomicheskie Issledovaniya (Studies on History of Astronomy), issue 34, pp. 69-96, 2009 (in Russian).

N.N. Samus, E.V. Kazarovets, O.V. Durlevich. Catalogs of variable stars, current and future. In: "Solar and Stellar Variability: Impact on Earth and Planets", Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, IAU Symposium, v. 264, p. 496-498, 2010.

N.N. Samus, E.V. Kazarovets, N.N. Kireeva, E.N. Pastukhova, O.V. Durlevich. Variable Star Catalogs: Their Past, Present and Future. "Variable Stars, the Galactic halo and Galaxy Formation, Proceedings of an international conference held in Zvenigorod, Russia, 12-16 October 2009". Moscow: Sternberg Institute, pp. 15-22, 2010.

N.N. Samus, E.V. Kazarovets, E.N. Pastukhova, T.M. Tsvetkova, O.V. Durlevich. A Catalogue of Accurate Equatorial Coordinates for Variable Stars in Globular Clusters. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, v. 121, No. 886, p. 1378-1385, 2009.

H. Yamaoka, K. Itagaki, E. Guido, G. Sostero, H. Maehara, M. Fujii, A. Arai, M. Isogai, K. Imamura, R.J. Rudy, T.R. Prater, R.W. Russell, R.C. Puetter, R.B. Perry, E.V. Kazarovets. KT Eri = N Eri 2009. IAU Circulars, No. 9098, 2009.

Malkov O.Yu., Dluzhnevskaya O.B., Bartunov O.S., Zolotukhin I.Yu. "International Virtual Observatory -- 10 years after", 2010, in XII All-Russian Research Conference RCDL'2010, Digital Libraries: Advanced Methods and Technologies, Digital Collections, eds. A.E.Elizarov, A.G.Abrosimov, Kazan, Oct 2010, Kazan Federal University Published Press (in Russian), 45-52.

Malkov O.Yu., Karpov S.V. "Cross-matching large photometric catalogues for parameterization of single and binary stars" 2011, in ADASS XX Conference, eds. Ian N. Evans, Alberto Accomazzi, Douglas J. Mink, Arnold H. Rots. Boston, Nov 2010, ASP Conf. Ser., submitted

Malkov O., Kaigorodov P., Oblak E., Debray B. "BDB: Binary star database" 2010, "Dynamics of complicated systems", (in Russian), in press

Malkov O. "International year of astronomy" 2011, Istoriko astronomicheskie issledovaniya (Journal for History of Astronomy), (in Russian), 36, in press

Malkov O., Dluzhnevskaya O., Bartunov O., Zolotukhin I. "International Virtual Observatory -- 10 years later", 2010, in Abstracts NAO-2010 International Workshop "Methods and Instruments in Astronomy: from Galileo Telescopes to Space Projects", Mykolaiv, Ukraine, May 2010, Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory publication, 43.



The VObs.it request for funding to INAF for 2011 was increased, to keep the level of staffing involved in VO activities, and to expand VO compliance to planetology and solar physics data. Funding should be assigned by the end of December.

The final meeting of the cycle of seminars called “VO-day ... in tour” will be held sometimes in spring 2011, after the EuroVO-ICE VO School and before the May Interop.

The preparation for the May Interop to be held in Naples is progressing. The venue (the Conference Hall of the University of Naples “Federico II”) has been booked, the meeting space for TCG and Exec on 14 and/or 15 May has been arranged, most of the needed funding has been secured (INAF, VObs.it and University “Federico II”).

VObs.it keeps active in the following areas: implementing prototypes related to the integration within the VO of theory data and revising the draft IVOA standards in the field; implementing embedded access to the grid as part of data centre services; developing VO-aware data mining tools; developing VO-enabled 3-D visualisation tools; studying and implementing ontology for the VO; preparing tools for access to the VO for educational/ outreach purposes.

Development efforts have concentrated on two main tools: VOdka - an agent which monitors the state of the VO seeking for changes in services and datasets and notifying users for those changes and updates; VO-Dance - a tool designed to allow users and data centers to create easily VO compliant services (Cone Search, SIAP, SSAP) on the fly starting only with a database table or view, without writing any code and in a matter of minutes.

The educational/outreach system (AIDA-WP5), built by VObs.it to be used by students, teachers and amateurs with VO data, has been upgraded, both in terms of software and use cases.

The IA2 data centre, part of VObs.it, is finalising a VO-compliant LBT-wide archive, built in collaboration with Heidelberg and Tucson. A number of services have been published by IA2.

-- FabioPasian


Reports from WGs & IGs(follows order as at http://www.ivoa.net/forum/)

Applications WG

SAMP V1.2 has had a successful RFC and TCG review and is ready for promotion to recommendation.

Data Access Layer WG

Data Models WG

  • Obs/TAP
Description of the Observation data model core components and the specification of an OBS/TAP service, using data model elements and TAP protocol. Last version of the draft issued on 1st december after 2 iterations among authors.

  • Photometry DM ( Euro-VO Aida project)
    • Working draft issued on November 30th on DM list by Jesus Salgado and in collaboration with engineers and scientists from ESAVO, SVO, CDS/Strasb.U. and ESO , in coordination with DM chair and vice chair.
    • First draft (v0.1) was sent to EuroVO-SAC (Science Advisory Committee) that reviewed the draft and gave comments that were included in present v0.2 document.
    • Prototyping and implementating the current euro-VO Model
    1. Filter profile service (SVO)
    2. SSAP like services from SVO providing photometric data (4 services)
    3. Vizier photometric service prototype It is based on a ConeSearch service and wraps existing tables with photometric metadata using a labeling method for existing columns and additional metadata. (presented by Seb. Derriere in Apps)
    4. Update of VOSpec (6.5beta3) to support SSAP and cone search with photometric information and as a Filter Profile Service client to take photometry filter details and generation of synthetic photometry.

VAO complementary approach recently circulated on DM list by Jonathan McDowell. It has a clear re-use and extension mecanism of existing data models like Characterisation ( spectral Axis) and Spectrum ( Target, Data,..) and focuses on a general definition of a new CoordFrame for (flux, spectral coordinates) of isolated points in an SED. It also takes into account aperture photometry. It explores two serialisation formats : FITS and VOtable.

The convergence of both modeling lines will be studied during Nara and if reached will lead to an efficient and implementable list of photometric metadata.

  • New Characterisation DM version 2.0 (F. Bonnarel, I. Chilingarian)
Driven by the explicit description of Level 4, for the description of sensitivity and PSF variations. New classes include: Coverage Sensitivity maps, Resolution variation as maps or functions descriptions, etc.. Prototype definition of a data linking container for accessing the data set: type of data format, mimetype, access url and access parameters.

  • Utypes and Units draft in stand-by state due to lack of man power
  • Dissemination
On the occasion of various meeting (ADASS, ADA, etc) DM members advertised the emerging standards and try to answer astronomers involved in data publishing on how current data models in IVOA could fit their needs.

Discussion on Data modeling on Planetary data or other disciplines (climat changes)

-- MireilleLouys

Grid and Web Services Working Group

  • Universal Worker Service (UWS) is now an IVOA Recommendation
  • Web Services Basic Profile has just completed its TCG Review period: minor corrections need to be made to the document
  • VO Standard Interface (VOSI) has been clarified and restructured per RFC comments. TCG Review period to start imminently
  • There is a new draft of VOSpace 2.0 with a new alternative interpretation of UWS. Another alternative interpretation will probably be adopted this week with a swift update of VOSpace 2.0 following and PR/RFC in January.

-- MatthewGraham

Registry WG

Semantics/UCD WG


  • A working draft of VOEvent v2.0 was released in September. A revision is in progress, responding to comments to date. Further comment would strengthen the draft!
  • Roy and Rob Seaman hosted a very successful tutorial, Techniques for time domain astronomy at the Boston ADASS
  • Hot-wiring the Transient Universe, a book authored by several members of the WG, was published with about 300 copies distributed to date
  • Informal discussions pertaining to IAU telegrams are in progress.

-- MatthewGraham

VOTable WG

Data Curation and Preservation IG

Knowledge Discovery in Databases IG

Theory IG

The Theory IG activity has been focused on the Simulation Data Model and the Simulation Data Access Layer.

  1. An intermediate meeting opened to all people willing to actively contribute to Theory standards has been organised in Strasbourg on Sep 16-17. People present were: Cervino, Derriere, Gheller, Gray, Lemson, Le Petit, Manzato, Moreau, Ooghe, Rodrigo, Wozniak. See: http://wiki.ivoa.net/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/StrasbourgSimDaysSep2010. Several actions have then started or have been completed since then:
  2. the Note explaining the Simulation Data Model (SimDM) has been completed. Discussion within the Strasbourg participants has started on Nov 15. The Note has been released on the Theory IG on Nov 24 for comments. It will be updated according to the Theory list inputs.
  3. this SimDM Note has been sent to DM list by DM WG chair for additional discussion on Nov 29. The SimDM specification process will be launched after Nara under the auspices of the DM WG.
  4. A Note on SimDM implementation examples (Le Petit et al.) has been released and distributed for comments on the Theory and DM lists.
  5. all documents (specification, XML schemas, etc.) needed for the SimDM specification has been prepared and will be updated according to the results of the discussions. All documents are on Volute and easily accessible through a dedicated page (cf. Theory wiki pages). http://wiki.ivoa.net/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/IVOATheorySimDMspec
  6. the SimDM will be presented during a DM WG session in Nara
  7. the SimDAL specification is in preparation. A discussion about a TAP implementation on SimDM (SimTAP) has started in Strasbourg and will continue in Nara during a Theory session and a DAL one. The aim is to be ready by Napoli INTEROP.

Topic revision: r19 - 2011-03-11 - FrancoiseGenova
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