We have also engaged further with the proposal for a standard VO data modelling language. A working draft is published to the DM WG and under discussion. We also continued exploring proof-of-concept implementations for this standard and also its sister document on its possible use in mapping of complex data models

IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (FM53)

FM53 - May 18, 2014 (16:00 - 18:00)

FM53S - May 21, 2014 (12:00 - 13:30)



Sunday, May 18, 2014 (16:00-18:00) Hotel NH Principe de Vergara

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (12:00-13:30) ESAC

Expiring Chairs - May 2014:

  • Application Chair: Mark Taylor
  • CDP Chair: Alberto Accomazzi (already has a one-year extension)
  • DAL Chair: Pat Dowler (already has a one-year extension)
  • DM Chair: Jesus Salgado
  • DM Vice-chair: Omar Laurino
  • GWS Chair: André Schaaff
  • GWS Vice-Chair: Andreas Wicenec
  • Registry Chair: Gretchen Greene
  • Registry Vice-chair: Pierre Le Sidaner

Agenda FM53

  1. Roll Call and Agenda (JE)
  2. Minutes of TM52
  3. Review of Actions
  4. Project Reports [Significant Events Only]
  5. TCG status
  6. WG Chairs/Vice Charis status
  7. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  8. Review expiring Working Group Chair/Deputy Chair positions
  9. IVOA Web Page and Document Repository transfer
  10. Status of VO efforts in the US post-VAO
  11. Date of Next Exec Meeting
  12. AOB
  13. Review of Action Items (JE)

Agenda FM53S

  1. Roll Call and Agenda (JE)
  2. IVOA Web Page and Document Repository transfer
  3. Status of VO efforts in the US post-VAO
  4. Data Models
  5. Review expiring Working Group Chair/Deputy Chair positions
  6. CSP Report
  7. Future Interops
  8. Date of Next Exec Meeting
  9. AOB
  10. Review of Action Items (JE)

Reports from the Projects

Argentina - NOVA





BRAVO has established a partnership with the Brazilian part of the J-PAS consortium and will co-manage
the data (archival and publishing) of the T80-south telescope, being built in Chile. To be able to fund
new activities, BRAVO answered a call from FAPESP (Sao Paulo Research Foundation) for eScience projects.
During the project's design, BRAVO built new connections with computer scientists in two institutions
in Sao Paulo, who will collaborate in future BRAVO projects. This eScience project is particularly
critical given that the program which funded BRAVO activities in recent years (INCT-A) is coming to an
end, which caused a halt on any new activity (except for the co-organization of a workshop in June). The
selected projects to be funded by FAPESP will be announced in October. If our project is approved, this
will be BRAVO's main source of funding for the next 5 years.


Beta version of China-VO AstroCloud was released on May 15, 2014. Suggestions and comments are very welcome!


The China-VO AstroCloud project was supported by NDRC (National Development and Reform commission) and CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Based on VO and Cloud technologies, the China-VO AstroCloud hopes to be a full lifecycle data management platform and an astronomical resource planning environments for the community and telescopes in China. Tasks such as observation time application, proposal review, data archiving, data release and sharing, scientific discovery collection, will be (or demanded) done on the platform. The platform will provide astronomers proposal submission, data archiving, data access, limited data processing and data mining, and maybe more services.


ChiVO started its activities in January 2013 with an interdisciplinary project that involves 5 principal universities of Chile (Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María-UTFSM, U. of Chile, Pontifical Catholic University-PUC, U. of Concepción, U. of Santiago de Chile-Usach); it considers 5 researchers from the Computer Science, and 3 from astronomy, and is currently funded until May 2015. The team consists of more than 30 engineers, technicians, and thesis students of these universities. http://www.chivo.cl/institutions.

ChiVO is currently creating a prototype based on the requirements specified by the Chilean astronomical community, which considers searches by coordinates, object names, metadata (spatial, spectral, and temporary), and polarization, as well as cross-matching, simulations and bibliographic services. This prototype includes:

  • The creation of data access services for cycle 0 of ALMA public data, through the protocols Simple Cone Search (SCS), Simple Image Access (SIA), Simple Spectral Access (SSA), and Table Access Protocol (TAP). The model in use is the ObsCore data.
  • The creation of a web interface to consume those resources, and easily deploying them to astronomers. This web site ( http://beta.chivo.cl in progress) is connected to other registries, as VO-Paris to provide more catalog options and data base to the astronomers.
  • The creation of tools and algorithms for the classification of galaxies, indexing of stellar objects, and identification of spectral lines in ALMA data cubes.
  • It is necessary a suitable set of data to validate these tools; hence, ALMA data is now being simulated.
Furthermore, ChiVO organized in January 2014 a workshop on VOs for the Chilean Astronomical Community, at the ALMA Offices in Santiago, with the participation of Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) members.


The CADC has completed the transition of all seacchable archive content
to the Common Archive Observation Model (CAOM-2.0). All archive data
discovery now uses Table Access Protocol (TAP) to query CAOM, either
through the CADC web portal (AdvancedSearch) or directly (through TAP).

Implemented final WD-DataLink-2.0, including service descriptor resources
in TAP query output and description of prototype access data services.

Implemented latest WD-SIA-2.0 query interface; the query response directs
clients to the CADC DataLink service for downloads and prototype access
data services.


Euro-VO activities between February 2014 and October 2014 are described in IvoaExecMeetingFM55


France VO

France VO activities between February and October 2014 are described in IvoaExecMeetingFM55


GAVO's Heidelberg and Potsdam data centers keep maintaining and developing services; a highlight in Heidelberg was the addition of provisional Datalink support, including linking previews, auxillary data, and in particular server-side processing like cutouts, normalization, and the like, for spectra and cubes.

In standards, we have published a validation suite for RegTAP; two implementations already pass. We continue actively participating in the development of datalink, and we are preparing an amendment of one or more standard texts to include advice and/or requirements on the formation of special IVORNs (dataset identifiers and standard ids). We are currently putting some effort into developing first drafts of a Provenance data model, using VO-DML. The current sources for the description, the xml-file and generated html-code for class definitions are available in the volute repository under dm/provenance. We have also engaged further with the proposal for a standard VO data modelling language. A working draft is published to the DM WG and under discussion. We also continued exploring proof-of-concept implementations for this standard and also its sister document on its possible use in mapping of complex data models

In May, we prepared a new 0.9.1 release of DaCHS, with improved support for custom previews and a built-in regression test framework as highlights.

We released a port of pgsphere to MySQL/MariaDB and SQLite on GitHub. This allows the use of geometrical functions in MySQL and SQLite, which is the most important requirement for translating ADQL to the respective SQL dialects.

We developed a customized mysqldump-tool which can dump data from MySQL-tables directly into VOTables (supports also VOTable binary format), again available from Github.



As agreed within the Exec, there will be a split of responsibilities in the management of the IVOA Web pages and Document Repository. In the future VObs.it (and specifically the IA2 data centre located at INAF-OATS) will host the IVOA domain, mail & wiki. A technical contact point and a maintenance responsible have been identified. The procedures for the switch from VAO to VObs.it have been agreed between Caltech and INAF-OATS information system administrators and have been initialized. The ownership and the authoritative nameservers of the two domains ivoa.net and ivoa.info have already been transferred; technical details on the hand-over of all other involved IVOA services (www, wiki, ftp, etc.) are being exchanged between the two teams.

VObs.it is organizing the Spring 2015 Interoperability Meeting, which will be held in Sesto/Sexten (in the Dolomites), at the Haus Sexten Congress Hall hosted by the Sexten Center for Astrophysics (http://www.sexten-cfa.eu/ ). Meeting dates will be 15-19 June. Two coaches will be organized to bring participants on 14 June from Venice airport to the Interop location and back on 19 June. For participants not being able to take advantage of this service (or not attending the full meeting), there is a shuttle service from the Venice and Treviso airports to the railway station in Toblach/Dobbiaco (12 km away from Sesto): this transfer may be booken on www.cortinaexpress.it; individual transportation can be arranged (200 Euro a one-way trip to the Venice and Treviso airports for max 8 people).

A note was prepared within the Interest Group in Education (Edu IG), concerning the creation and deployment of astrophysical resources dedicated to education within the standard VO framework ( http://wiki.ivoa.net/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/IvoaEducation ).


Japan-VO has been renewing its portal page (http://jvo.nao.ac.jp/portal/) with better user interface, which we plan to release within a few months. We have found an unfortunate problem; our SIAP service was not visible from the Aladin ! Thanks to the CDS people, this problem has been fixed, and astronomers in the world can access to the Subaru telescope data through Aladin. The ALMA archive service has been working well where astronomers can download FITS files; if an astronomer wishes to download ASDM files, he/she can find them from the link associated with the FITS files. The ALMA data can be found from https://jvo.nao.ac.jp/portal/alma.do .

At the end of March, 2014, two research associated left the Japan-VO project; one has got a tenure position. We have employed two new reseach associates; one is an expert in statistics and another is an expert in extragalactic astronomy, especially on the AGNs. These new people are expected to participate in the autumn interop meeting.

We have introduced the new JVO logo which has already been used in the JVO page. We will ask the IVOA to replace our old logo with the new one.

Finally NAOJ has started a discussion how to collaborate with the JAXA/ISAS on the SPICA project (expected to be launched around 2026); JVO is expected to be an interface to publish the SPICA data primarily to non-EU countries.

Ukraine VO


The VAO has focused its activities on executing the VAO Project Execution Plan (PEP) for the period May 1, 2013 and through September 30, 2014, approved on June 8, 2013. Briefly, the plan calls for completion of all deliverables already underway, continued monitoring of services, preparation to deliver VAO assets to the community and delivery of a protocol and data discovery and data access service for multi-dimensional data sets.

The VAO hosted the semi-annual interoperability workshop in Waikoloa, HI, consecutively with the annual ADASS conference, and has developed an agenda for the VAO close-out review, scheduled for July 10 and 11, 2014 in Pasadena, CA, and stakeholders in the project have been invited to attend. VAO management consulted with NASA archive staff to support their proposal to sustain the VAO infrastructure.

VAO staff has been active in the community: they have made presentations at conferences, and have participated on panel discussions and workshops. VAO staff holds leadership roles in the IVOA, and have contributed to the development of five IVOA standards. VAO personnel have also been active in the Research Data Alliance (RDA), an international initiative to foster data access and exchange throughout the research community.

The final versions of the Data Discovery tool, Iris (the Spectral Energy Distribution service) and the Cross-comparison service have been delivered. These releases offer new functionality for users and correct several defects that have been reported. The new releases include updated user documentation and video tutorials.

Repositories have been set up to host the VAO code base and documentation with Google’s free cloud-based services. The code repository has been populated with essentially all versions of software components delivered to date, and new components are transferred there each month as they are delivered. The documentation repository has been populated with user guides and tutorials, project reports, professional outreach materials, and a list of technical publications and presentations by team members.

The VAO has begun the transfer of IVOA communication assets (web site, wiki and mailing lists) to VOIndia and VOItaly. The VAO Program Manager is coordinating these efforts on behalf of the IVOA Executive Council.

VO science services were available 98% of the time, even with the shutdown of the federal government. The VAO validation services detected a dramatic decrease in validation statistics, which was attributed to changes in Vizier data services. The VAO informed Vizier staff and the problem was corrected. VO infrastructure requests remained steady during 2013 and early 2014, except for a surge in Registry queries in late 2103. Between March 30, 2013 and April 11, 2014, 327 tickets were filed with the JIRA ticket system and 245 were closed.

A major effort for the VAO is support for discovery of and access to multidimensional data sets (“data cubes’), identified as a key science initiative by the IVOA. The VAO has been providing leadership in this endeavor. A white paper delivered in May 2013 described the mechanisms and science drivers for serving data cubes, and led to the development of a prototype data access that served data from a range of projects. Concurrently, the VAO proposed modifications of existing standards and data models that were mandated by this service, and a successful demonstration at the Winter IVOA meeting led to agreement on the necessary requirements to support data cube. VAO staff is working with international partners to present mature versions of the Image Data Model, Simple Image Access Protocol v2, and DataLink at the Spring 2014 meeting.

The VAO established a partnership with the NRAO to support scalable access to the large datasets from ALMA and JVLA, and to support seamless access to their visualization toolkit, CASA. To date, the VAO has delivered an enhanced DALServer to provide access to data cubes, and NARO has integrated the VOClient tools into the CASA software.

The SciDrive data sharing and publication service has been made accessible to users for evaluation. It provides 100-TB storage with triple redundancy, and includes the Single Sign On service. Upgrades to the registry and data publishing tool are being readied for release.

A production release of the VOClient, which offers command line access to the VO, was deployed in January 2014, and two beta releases of the native Python package, PyVO, were released through the Astropy community-supported platform.




(Since Feb 2014)

Manpower: 8 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: J. L. Birkby, M. Cappetta, P. Cruz, J. Koppenhoefer, O. Ivanyuk et al. (includes Solano)
    • Title: WTS-2 b: a hot Jupiter orbiting near its tidal destruction radius around a K-dwarf
    • MNRAS


Report from the TCG

Reports from the WGs


  • End of RFC/TCG process for VOUnits. Ready for submission to Exec, as discussed
  • Planetary science UCD suggestions from Baptiste Cecconi, VO-Paris (http://wiki.ivoa.net/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/PlanetaryUCD). Discussed at CDS, and to be reviewed by the UCD Maintenance Group
  • The Semantic WG is aware of on going broadly 'semantic' work in the context of the Data Model WG , and concerning Provenance in the DAL WG
  • some participation (barging in) in the Datalink specification process
  • Machine learning approach to allocating UCDs from text descriptions
-- NormanGray and MireilleLouys - 2014-05-18


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