IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (FM50)

Wednesday September 25, 2013 @ 17.00-19.00 - Naupaka Ballroom 1



Waikoloa Beach Marriot, Naupaka Ballroom 1


  1. Roll Call and Agenda (MA & JE)
  2. Minutes of FM49 and FM49S
  3. Review of Actions (MA & JE)
  4. Project Reports [Significant Events Only]
  5. TCG status
  6. WG Reports
  7. IVOA Web pages and Document Repository
  8. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  9. WG/IG chairs/deputy chairs with expiring terms
  10. Science Priority Areas
  11. New IVOA members [ChiVO Application]
  12. Future Interops [Argentina Offer / Fall 2015]
  13. Date of Next Exec Meeting
  14. AOB
  15. Review of Action Items (MA & JE)

Reports from the Projects

Argentina - NOVA

Nova Summary September 2013

Nova is uploading data. We expect to publish part of it by the end of the year. Main target projects has been identified such as results from the VISTA survey and surveys of HI in the Sourthern Hemisphere. In the following months, we will start scanning the historical plaques which account for more that 3000 spectra and images. In June 2013, the first NOVA workshop was organized with about 70 participants from the main institutions. Halk of them PhD students which is very encouraging. Two projects to develop new tools are being discussed with the software company Globant and Conicet.



AstroGrid continues as a informal alliance rather than a formal funded project, with UK VO workers contributing efforts through the Euro-VO projects (currently CoSADIE), through data centre and mission activities (eg VISTA, GAIA, ALMA, and preparation for EUCLID), and through one-off STFC grants (currently for Topcat and Astrotrop) . We are currently discussing whether to move the AstroGrid codebase to a service such as Google code rather than a dedicated CVS.

The latest inititiative is Astrotrop, a collaboration between astronomers and tropical forest monitoring scientists. The idea is to re-purpose VO concepts, techniques, and software for the monitoring of tropical forests via remote sensing data. The first step, funded by STFC, led by Edinburgh and Leeds, but involving lots of the usual people across UK and Europe, is an evaluation and prototyping study. The forest folk have shown great interest in IVOA as well as tools such as Topcat and Aladin.

We are holding a conference exploring ideas in Edinburgh, October 30-31. We would welcome international participation. A registration website will be available shortly.




The first WWT planetarium is almost completed. An opening ceremony is planned on Oct. 21st.

China-VO and AstroInformatics 2013, the annual workshop from China-VO project, will be held from Nov. 14 to 16, 2013, at Ya'an, the hometown of Giant Panda. For the first time, the workshop in the year is sponsored by 4 IT companies. Hope it is a right way for collaboration.



The current Euro-VO project is CoSADIE (Collaborative and Sustainable Data Infrastructure for Europe http://www.cosadie.eu). This report covers CoSADIE activities since the beginning of 2013.

CoSADIE activities include in particular support to uptake of the VO by the science and data provider communities. A successful School aimed mainly at PhDs and post-docs was organised 5-7 February 2013 in Madrid by the Spanish VO . This was also an occasion to update the collection of VO tutorials which is available on the Euro-VO site. GAVO organized 10-11 June 2013 a Data Centre Forum which was also very successful, as explained in GAVO report, and allowed us to gather data provider needs in term of Euro-VO support.

Two Technology Forums were organised by AstroGrid in Edinburgh, 16-17 January 2013, and in Strasbourg, 2-3 September 2013, respectively, the latter with the support of CDS. These meetings are allowing European VO teams to share information about their developments and to prepare IVOA meetings.

The project also collaborates with Astronet, a European project which gathers European astronomy funding agencies to establish a common strategy for astronomy. Euro-VO education activities were presented at the Astronet Workshop on Education and Public Outreach, held on 17-18 June 2013 in Heidelberg, Germany, and M. Ramella is a member of Astronet Working Grop on Education. Collaboration with Astronet is especially important to establish a plan for Euro-VO medium term sustainability, which is the other aim of CoSADIE in addition to the coordination of European VO activities. CoSADIE contributes to the current update of Astronet Roadmap, which confirms the very positive recommendations of the 2008 Roadmap about the VO. Collaboration with Astronet will continue during the coming year, with a study of how to implement these recommendations.

Euro-VO also develops links with the recently formed Research Data Alliance, through CDS participation in the RDA/Europe project. F. Genova, Euro-VO coordinator, has recently been appointed 'interim member' of RDA Technical Advisory Board.


France VO

This report covers France VO activities since the beginning of 2013.

The annual meeting of France VO, which was held on 11-12 March in Paris, was an occasion to get a general view of VO activities in the country. TIVOA standards he most conspicuous topics this year were activities around VO Theory and on the development of interoperability standards for planetary and heliopheric physics, which are customizing IVOA standards and using VO tools, in particular Aladin and Topcat for their own needs.

Activities on the development of IVOA standards and tools continue at CDS and Paris Observatory. Authors working in French labs are involved in several of the recently accepted or on-going standards, namely VOTable 1.3, MOC, PhotDMv1-1, PDL, VOSpace 2.0 and Units. IRAP in Toulouse and Paris Observatory are also strongly involved in the development of standards and tools for planetary and heliospheric studies.

France VO continues to support participation of staff working in French labs in IVOA meetings and in similar meetings organised in other disciplines.


GAVO continues to run its Heidelberg and Potsdam data centers, where several services received considerable development, as did GAVO's multi-protocol server suite DaCHS.

In standards, we incorporated numerous suggestions and corrections to the relational registry working draft, which we now consider almost ready for RFC. Within the Heidelberg data center, we also run a prototype of a web-based interface to the data. GAVO has also drawn up a datalink prototype, which is used for FITS cutouts and various server-side manipulations of spectra.

The CoSADIE Data Center Forum in June brought together 40 representatives of various European projects involved with publishing astronomical data. It was invigorating to see the level of interest in interoperable solutions even outside the institutions directly involved with the VO. However, it also became very clear that solid and reliable support to the data providers is crucial for takeup of VO standards.



A new ICT Unit has been formally formed under the INAF Scientific Directorate. The INAF ICT Unit coordinates a number of e-infrastructure projects, including VObs.it. INAF funding has been keeping constant for the past five years; staffing is keeping constant as well and can be estimated to be around 5 FTE, including about 2 FTE of permanent staff).

VObs.it is currently involved in:

  • access to the VO for educational/outreach purposes;
  • coordinating the Education IG and the IVOA-OGF Liaison Group;
  • implementation of the Relational Registry Schema Working Draft;
  • discussions with the radio astronomy community and CDS for feedback on the access to radio and multidimensional data following IVOA standards;
  • identifying and facilitating interactions between IVOA and OGF on all aspects concerning Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs), porting of workflows and applications, and their interaction with data;
  • contacts within Europe (EuroVO, VO-France) to harmonise the development of workflows between IVOA/GWS and multi-disciplinary EU-funded projects;
  • plans to refurbish VisIVO within the VO framework;
  • scientific participation to the Theoretical VO from cosmological simulations research groups.
Contacts have been continuously pursued with the other Italian research institutions involved in Big Data projects, both for the management and preservation of data.


Ukraine VO


The VAO team has been working hard on key close-out activities, including final releases of science applications (complete), SIAP V2 protocol definition and prototype service implementations (will be shown at this Interop), Python language bindings to VO protocols, and VOBox (rechristened SciDrive to avoid a name collision with a CERN service). We will also be presenting several poster papers at the January AAS meeting.

HEASARC, IPAC, and MAST are preparing a proposal to NASA Headquarters for the ongoing support of core VAO services. These activities include continued operation of the registry, monitoring and validation of VO services worldwide, and continued interaction with IVOA standards development. NASA requires this work to fit within current budgets, however. NSF may release an RFP for VO-enabled research tools.

A more complete status report will be uploaded here once we have completed our regular quarterly report (October 31).


RVO progress report (Sept 2013)

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

The third part of the unprecedented large 80th Name-List of Variable Stars, introducing new objects of the GCVS (2133 stars), has been published. The total number of stars in the 80th Name-list is 6328.

We analyzed more than 1000 first GCVS stars in the constellation Aquila. As a result, the first GCVS bibliographic reference (that to the main source of information, such as type, period, etc.) is now to the own results of the GCVS team for more than 650 stars of the first 1000. Classification (variability type) was improved or completely revised for more than 250 stars. A poster for the All-Russian Astronomy Conference was prepared.

As usual, many dozens of corrections to the electronic GCVS have been introduced during 2013. The lack of activity of the IAU Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams in announcing new GCVS names for Novae resulted in our making the announcement outside the frame of the Bureau; after that, the Bureau contacted us for names for the first time in 1.5 years and presented them in the IAU Circular, under one of the two names of real authors. As it was mentioned in our 2012 report, digitizing the Sternberg Institute plate collection had been temporarily discontinued. Before the end of 2013, we strongly hope to acquire a new scanner and continue digitizing. However, we proceed with discoveries of new variable stars using digitized plates. A paper announcing our discovery of 77 new variable stars in a 10??10? field centered at SA9 was accepted to ìAstronomy Reportsî. An oral talk on the Moscow digitizing program will be presented at the conference on digitizing the scientific heritage in Sofia (Bulgaria) in early October.

We started working on the new system of automatic classification of variable stars for the GCVS, based on photometric data. Two oral talks concerning different aspects of the GCVS future will be presented at the All-Russian Astronomy Conference before the end of September.

2. Working group "RVO data" (INASAN, led by Dana Kovaleva) The pilot version of the Binary Star Database (BDB) - a revised and updated result of evolution of the Besancon Double and Multiple Star Data Base - has been made available for the community at http://bdb.inasan.ru/ . The BDB includes data on physical and astrometric parameters of binaries of various types. The development of the BDB involved solution of problems of cross-identification and of aggregation of various format data from
astronomical catalogues and databases. Simultaneously, data of the catalogues of binary stars are being included into the database, user interface is being tested and improved, the functions available for investigation purposes are being added.

The web pages of the RVO are to be updated by the end of Sept 2013.

3. Zvenigorod Scanlaboratory Group (INASAN, led by Sergei Vereshchagin) The project of digitization of observational archive of astronegatives of Zvenigorod Observatory of INASAN is completed. Current activities are limited to maintenance and service of the digital archives, film and glass plate libraries; scanning and cataloguing the plate images for some plates upon user's requirement. Data reduction to a standard format and its submission to the WFPDB is continued in accordance to standards of the Data Center in Sofia (WFPDB). The report on archive state and access modes to our archive is to be presented at the Bulgarian Data Center conference DHS-Sofia in October 2013.

The online information about the archive of astronegatives, our work, science group and tools:

1) on the INASAN site http://www.inasan.ru/rus/scan/;
2) in the Wide Field Plate Data Base in Bulgaria http://wfpdb.org/search/search.cgi
(Getting data about archive and each plate, viewing of the negatives, selection plates by the parameters. In the search to use: IDobs - ìZVNî, IDins - ì040î for Astrograph, IDins - ì021î for AFU);
3) About the Zvenigorod Observatory Telescopes: http://www.inasan.ru/eng/zvenigorod/instr.html

4. Publications:

Kazarovets, E.V., Pastukhova, E.N. 2013, Light Elements for 30 Mira Type Variables form the NSV catalog. Peremennye Zvezdy/Variable Stars, V. 33, No. 6.

Kazarovets, E.V., Samus, N.N., Durlevich, O.V., et al. 2013, The 80th Name-List of Variable Stars. Part III ñ RA 16h to 24h. Information Bulletin on Variable Stars, No. 6052.
Kazarovets, E.V., Samus, N.N. 2013, Novae in the 80th Name-list of Variable Stars (Part 3): Official Announcement of GCVS Names. Peremennye Zvezdy/Variable Stars, V. 33, No. 3.
Samus, N.N. 2013, Permanent Designations of 2912 Milky Way Novae, IAU Circulars, No. 9259.
Malkov O.Yu., Kaygorodov P.V., Kovaleva D.A., Oblak E., Debray E. Binary star database BDB: datasets and services, 2013, Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, in press


Malkov O., Skvortsov N., Avvakumova E., Dluzhnevskaya O., et al., Data support for stellar astronomy tasks, October 14-17, 2013, XVth All-Russian Conference

on Electronic Libraries, Yaroslavl', Russia
Kaigorodov P., Dluzhnevskaya O., Kovaleva D., Malkov O. Architecture of the BDB Database, October 2013, "Infrastructure of the scientific informational resources and systems IIIrd All-Russia Symposium, Sukhum, Abkhasia
N.V.Chupina, S.V.Vereshchagin, Digital archives of the Zvenigorod astronomical observatory INASAN, HUMBOLDT KOLLEG, "Digitization of Heritage in Science" October 1-5, 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria, poster.

South Africa VO


(Since May 2013)

Manpower: 7 FTEs. The SVO Thematic Network (people from Spanish institutes with interest in the VO) is composed of almost 200 participants from more than 30 labs.


  • Authors:López Martí, Belén; Jiménez-Esteban, Francisco; Bayo, Amelia; Barrado, David; Solano, Enrique; Bouy, Hervé; Rodrigo, Carlos
    • Title: Proper motions of young stars in Chamaeleon. II. New kinematical candidate members of Chamaeleon I and II
    • Journal: 2013A&A...556A.144L
  • Authors: Martín, E. L.; Cabrera, J.; Martioli, E.; Solano, E.; Tata, R.
    • Title: Kepler observations of very low-mass stars
    • Journal: 2013A&A...555A.108M
  • Authors: Eiroa, C.; Marshall, J. P.; Mora, A.; Montesinos, B.; Absil, O.; Augereau, J. Ch.; Bayo, A.; Bryden, G.; Danchi, W.; del Burgo, C.; and 40 coauthors
    • Title: DUst around NEarby Stars. The survey observational results
    • Journal: 2013A&A...555A..11E
  • Authors: Bouy, H.; Bertin, E.; Moraux, E.; Cuillandre, J.-C.; Bouvier, J.; Barrado, D.; Solano, E.; Bayo, A.
    • Title: Dynamical analysis of nearby clusters. Automated astrometry from the ground: precision proper motions over a wide field
    • Journal: 2013A&A...554A.101B
  • Authors: Sánchez-Janssen, R.; Amorín, R.; García-Vargas, M.; Gomes, J. M.; Huertas-Company, M.; Jiménez-Esteban, F.; Mollá, M.; Papaderos, P.; Pérez-Montero, E.; Rodrigo, C.; and 2 coauthors
    • Title: A Virtual Observatory Census to Address Dwarfs Origins (AVOCADO). I. Science goals, sample selection, and analysis tools
    • Journal: 2013A&A...554A..20S


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