IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (FM55)

FM55 - October 09, 2014 (17:00 - 19:00)



Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 (17:00-19:00)

Expiring Chairs - Oct 2014:

  • Executive Committee Chair: David Schade
  • Executive Committee Vice Chair: Christophe Arviset

Agenda FM55

  1. Roll Call and Agenda (JE)
  2. Minutes of TM54
  3. Review of Actions
  4. Project Reports [Significant Events Only]
  5. TCG status
  6. WG Chairs/Vice Chairs status
  7. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  8. IVOA Standards 1) Document format 2) IVOA Standards in the ADS
  9. IVOA Web Page and Document Repository Backup
  10. Review terms up for Expiration
  11. Future Interops (Dolomites, Spring 2015; Sydney, Fall 2015)
  12. Decisions on Trieste IVOA meeting (Fall 2016)
  13. Date of Next Exec Meeting
  14. AOB
  15. Review of Action Items (JE)

Reports from the Projects

Argentina - NOVA





Please refer to the report submitted for TM54


Please refer to the report submitted for TM54


ChiVO is currently in its final phase with the creation of a functional prototype that consider data access services for the cycle 0 ALMA's public data. This prototype considers:
- Creation of metadata harvesting process for the ALMA Science Data Model in order to fill the Observation Core Data model columns. Also the same process with FITS files was made (no ObsCore).
- Based on the harvesting process we construct and set-up the resources to the backend (gavo DaCHS).
- The creation of web interface to facilitate the access to the data. This web application consume data from different resources available in the registry (using the ChiVO endpoint web service).
- The ChiVO endpoint facilitate the communication between the web application and the Registry, providing a JSON file with all available registry to be used by the astronomer.
- ALMA Sesame, name resolver for the names created by ALMA database. We are creating this web service with aNoSQL database MongoDB.
- The creation of tools and algorithms for galaxies classification, 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.



Since the last Euro-VO report (12 February 2014), the current Euro-VO project, CoSADIE, which was scheduled to end on 31 August 2014, was extended for six more months, to the end of February 2014, by the European Commission. Among the project highlights, a Euro-VO MOU was signed by CNRS, INAF, INTA, the University of Edinburg and the University of Heidelberg. A Technology Forum was held in Trieste (http://www.cosadie.eu/twiki/bin/view/CoSADIE/TechForum3), allowing information exchange and coordination between the European teams which develop the VO. Euro-VO partner staff participated in a VO school held in Poland in June 2014 in the framework of a French-Polish project, with CoSADIE support. CoSADIE coordinator was invited to present at talk on how astronomy deals with its data at the Big Data and Open Data workshop whichbgathered representatives of European Research Infrastructures and other relevant stakeholders in Brussels on 7-8 May 2014 https://www.elettra.eu/Conferences/2014/BDOD/index.php?n=Main.HomePage, and at the Copernicus Big Data Workshop held, also in Brussels, on 13-14 March 2014.

One major aim of CoSADIE is the definition of a medium term strategy for Euro-VO. This is done in close collaboration with Astronet, which gathers the European funding agencies of astronomy and defines a European strategy for the discipline. Astronet identified the VO as an important infrastructure for the discipline in its 2008 Infrastructure Roadmap. This is conformed in the Roadmap update which is being finalised. The next step for Euro-VO is to build closer relations with the large projects, which is also done at the IVOA level. This is reflected in the Euro-VO participation in a cluster proposal submitted to an EC Call on 2 September, which gathers in particular the so-called ESFRI projects (large projects selected to appear in a European list of Research Infrastructure projects, such as SKA and CTA).


France VO

Since the last France VO report (12 February 2014), French teams continued to be very active in the development of VO standards and tools and participation in IVOA meetings.

A meeting on data publication in the VO and the TAP protocol was held on 17 September 2014 in Paris. It was attended by 32 participants from all around France and speakers from Strasbourg, Paris, Grenoble and Toulouse. The meeting web site (in French) is here: http://www.france-ov.org/twiki/bin/view/JOURNEESSpecifiques/PublicationDsOV.

The national astronomical community is finalizing its strategic exercise next week. The France VO (Action Specifique Observatoires Virtuels France) role may be extended to the coordination of the technical aspects of data dissemination activities of the French labs, in addition to its current role of coordination of the French VO activities.


No major changes versus the FM54 report



No major changes wrt previous report TM54


Ukraine VO





(Since May 2014)

Manpower: 8 FTEs.



Authors: M. Aberasturi, J. A. Caballero, B. Montesinos, M. C. Galvez-Ortiz, E. Solano and E. L. Martín

  • AJ
Authors: Aberasturi, M.; Burgasser, A. J.; Mora, A.; Solano, E.; Martín, E. L.; Reid, I. N.; Looper, D.
  • Title: Constraints on the binary Properties of mid to late T dwarfs from Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 Observations
  • AJ

Authors: Enrique Solano

  • Title: El Observatorio Virtual. El Universo a un sólo click.
  • News
IVOA Madrid 2014 Press Release


Report from the TCG

Reports from the WGs and IGs


1) The MOC document has been promoted to REC status. An interesting consequence of this promotion is the announcement of the HEALPix developers - notably Martin Reinecke from the Max Planck Institute - to integrate the MOC support in the official HEALPix distribution.

2) The discussions on the mailing list are mainly related to VOTable issues and evolutions.
One point about Unicode VOTable encoding issue. And the second point about the VODML serialization evolution based on a new dmtype attribute or a new XML entity. These points will be discussed during one Plenary Applications Session at Banff.


Registry is finalising the RegTAP PR after TCG review. RegTAP itself depends on a correction of DAL's TAPRegExt standard, for which we drafted an Erratum intended to serve as a test case for the new Erratum process.

Futher activity went into figuring out a good way to register data collection in a way that their modes of access are easily discoverable; the conventional way via relationships has shown hard to support by clients. We are now trying out an approach based on special, "auxiliary" standard identifiers crafted in a way that clients can easily switch between "primary services only" and "all resources with matching metadata".

Members of the Registry WG have jointly produced two review-type articles on the Registry for the Astronomy&Computing special issues.

Data Curation and Preservation

The fourth Plenary meeting of the Research Data Alliance, which was held in Amsterdam on 22-24 September, was a great success, with more than 500 participants. The RDA is an excellent forum and a good place for discussion of buiding blocks of the data infrastructure, and to meet colleagues from a wide variety of disciplines and projects.

One aspect of data curation and preservation in astronomy is the way we deal with data 'attached to publications'. This has been managed for many years now for tabular data through a collaboration between CDS and the journals. The point is now to understand how to deal with other kinds of data (more than 15% of VizieR 'catalogues' currently contain non-tabular data, such as images, time series, spectra, data cubes). The AAS and the CDS agreed in January 2014 to assess the usage of the ObsCore VO standard to describe the data sets. The status of the CDS assessment will be presented during the Application session during the Banff Interop.


An update of the UCD standard is going on for the addition of new UCD keywords for planetary data and solar datasets. A list of possible additions has been examined and a new extended set is currently tested against solar and planetary data collection for assessment. A new working draft for the UCD list update is circulating.

Standing Committee on Standards and Processes

An update of the Documents Standards is proposed to create the possibility to endorse errata and other types of 'strong notes' (such as implementation notes), as discussed during the May 2014 TCG meeting. A first version of the updated document is here. It is currently discussed within the TCG before it reaches the WD status, but comments from other IVOA members are welcome.

The advantages and drawbacks of using the docment framework proposed by GAVO have to be fully assessed.

Data Access Layer

The DataLink spec is now in TCG Review phase. The SIAV2 spec is probably finishing its RFC period and a new PR document is coming soon. AccessData spec has been argualy discussed on the mailing list since the WorkingDraft has been posted in March 2014. A side meeting held in Calgary this week eventually proposed a solution

The discussion held in Madrid on Implementation/errata/desired evolution of TAP and ADQL have been summerized on the list. Strong notes and future versions of TAP/ADQL will be discussed in Banff

Grid and Web Services

The updates of VOSpace and UWS are ongoing after a dedicated session for each one in Madrid. In Banff we will have one session to discuss the status of the updates and to find a consensus necessary to go further. We are looking for 2 implementers for each update to be ready for the PR processus before the next interop in Italy (as we have near 8 months).

We will also continue the discussion about the future of the other standards of the WG, especially VOSpace 3.0 (we had discussions about WebDAV for example and we will continue the reflexion about what should be a storage interface in a few years) and the update of SSO.

PDL was released as a Rec at the end of the Madrid Interop and we will start to find possible links with other WGs, probably at least with DM.

Time Domain

The draft note on SimpleTimeSeries was published prior to the Madrid meeting with the idea that it would go forward as a "strong note" once procedures have been established. There's been no change to the VOEvent Transport Protocol document since the last meeting due to lack of promised comments; and action for this meeting is to see if comments are still outstanding and push doc toward REC as soon as possible. There were substantial comments form the Registry Chair on the RegExt document which we hope to resolve at this meeting to decide how best to go forward.

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