IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (TM37)

Monday September 20 2010 @ 15.00 GMT



Agenda - TBD

  1. Roll Call and Agenda (MA)
  2. Minutes of FM36, Minutes of FM36S (PP)
  3. Review of Actions (MA)
  4. Project Reports [Significant Events Only]
  5. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  6. TCG status (CA)
  7. KDD Chair, VOEvent vice-Chair, TCG vice-Chair on POC (all)
  8. Possible new IVOA members (PP)
  9. Inactive IVOA members (PP)
  10. Proposal for an IVOA Education Interest Group (CC)
  11. Proposal of a joint technical session with IPDA at next interop (CA)
  12. Proposal for an IAU GA Special Session on "Data Intensive Astronomy" (MO)
  13. IVOA Documents Approval by TCG and Exec (PP, all)
  14. Future Interops (MO, FP)
  15. Date of Next Exec Meeting
  16. AOB
  17. Review of Action Items (MA)

Reports from the Projects






From Aug 1 to 3, a national wide teacher training was organized. Focusing on WWT guided tour design, concepts about Virtual Observatory, Data Intensive Astronomy and Citizen Science were introduced and experienced during the workshop. About 40 teachers and senior amateur astronomers attend the training.

To take full use of GPU cluster (85 nodes, 158Tflops) at NAOC and raise HPC applications in astronomy, a parallel programing workshop was organized from Sep 14 to 16. More than 70 graduated students attended the workshop. Great interests were shown and very positive feedbacks were collected. In additional to computing intensive simulations, data intensive projects are also planned for the GPU cluster.


We have released a production Table Access Protocol (TAP) service to support querying the Common Archive Observation Model (CAOM) data warehouse at CADC. In addition, most of the source code to implement the TAP specification, including ADQL, STC, UWS, and VOSI, is available through the OpenCADC project hosted at http://opencadc.googlecode.com/. We have also released new implementations of our SIA services using the CAOM TAP service and we provide an (evolving) ObsCore prototype table within our TAP service as part of the ObsTAP science case project.

We have implemented IVOA Single Sign On across all CADC web applications and services. Users with X509 certficates can authenticate using this mechanism if they need to access proprietary data or other restricted resources. We are currently developing a service that implements the IVOA Credential Delegation Protocol (CDP) based on the Astrogrid security library.

We have deployed a partial VOSpace 2.0 service to support collaboration between survey team members, as well as all general storage by CADC users. the VOSpace service is also used as an important component of our cloud computing work, where it is used to store, manage, and share virtual machine images and to persist processing output. We will implement the missing features and achieve compliance with the draft specification before the end of 2010. We have also designed and implemented a prototype Group Membership Service (GMS); this specification will be brought forward for discussion in the Grid and Web Services WG. The VOSpace and GMS source code is also available through the OpenCADC project.


The Euro-VO AIDA project was successfully concluded on July 31, with a final review to be held in Brussels on Oct. 5. Since the last IVOA Interop more VO Days have been held at CDS, Stockholm, Belgrade, and Madrid. A new European Community funded project, Euro-VO International Cooperation Empowerment (ICE) has started on Sept. 1 and will last for one year. Work has started towards submission of a proposal to the next European Community call for funding, with deadline at the end of November.

France VO

See the report posted on the TM39 meeting page.


In GAVO's data center, the main focus was developing a stable TAP server including uploads, which is now operational and registered. We also developed a TAP client library (part of GAVO's VOTable package) and a shell for querying TAP (tapsh; all GAVO DC software can be obtained at http://vo.ari.uni-heidelberg.de). Several data sets were processed and published, including the all-sky ICRS star catalog PPMXL and corrections to some major catalogs based on it.

In GAVO's activities in "Theory", we continued expanding our interface to N-body simulation data sets and used the support software in a more comprehensive virtual research environment that supports the CLUES effort.

Standards work included a revision of the mechanism of including data model information in VOTables, in particular STC. We also organized a booth and a parallel meeting on VO/eScience topics at the Annual Meeting of the "Astronomische Gesellschaft" at Bonn (September 14-17, 2010), reaching out to the greater astronomical community.



Korean VO



Manpower: 10 FTEs. The SVO Thematic Network (people from Spanish institutes with interest in the VO) is composed of 177 members in 34 institutes.

Standards: Work on access protocols and models for theoretical data is progressing. Information on this topic can be found at: http://svo.cab.inta-csic.es/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpWiki&file=index&pagename=Projects-Theory

VO archives:

- Technical support for the development of a VO archive for a robotic telescope (in collab. with the University of Cartagena).

- Technical support for the development of a VO service for the MAGIC data (in collab. wth the University of Barcelona).

VO Science:

- New Generation Stellar Physics: Asteroseismology & Virtual Observatory (J.C. Suárez, E.Solano, C. Rodrigo, A. Moya, A. García-Hernández) arXiv:1004.0612

- Identification of blue high proper motion objects in Tycho-2 and 2MASS catalogues using Virtual Observatory tools (F. Jiménez-Esteban, J.A. Caballero, E. Solano) accepted in A&A


- "The Virtual Observatory for the amateur astronomy". Pro-Am workshop. Madrid, Sep 2010. E. Solano, J. M. Alacid.


- SVO schools: March 2010 (Canary Islands) and June 2010 (Madrid). More information can be found at: http://svo.laeff.inta.es/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpWikiP&file=index&pagename=Meetings

- Assignments under academic supervision (in collaborattion with Complutense University of Madrid): "Development of a VO archive for the UCM sample of galaxies"


The VAO officially got started with the award of an NSF Cooperative Agreement to the VAO, LLC on 15 May 2010. Over the summer months all attention was focused on developing a Program Execution Plan (PEP) for submission to NSF and NASA by 13 August 2010. This was completed on time and copies were shared with the IVOA Executive. The VAO team is now engaged in assigning the tasks and activities in the PEP to the individuals who will be actively engaged in the work. The VAO will hold its first team meeting on 30 Sept/1 Oct 2010 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.



The VO-India project has received new funding for a period of three years (2010-2013), and we are drawing up plans for new tools, as well as for serious upgrading of some of our existing tools like VOPlot and VOStat. It is expected that some development will take place in time for the Interop meeting at Nara. Over the past tow years we have spent a fair amount of time developing archives, proposal management systems etc for various telescopes, and the latest in this line is the South African Large Telescope (SALT), in which IUCAA is a partner. The experience gained by VO-India in software development of various kinds is proving to be very useful in enabling Indian astronomers, and their collaborators from the industry, to make a possibly substantial contribution to the software requirements of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project.

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

Applications WG

SAMP version 1.2 has been readied for an RFC and should go to PR in the fall. No controversies are anticipated. The RFC period should begin in early October assuming no issues arise in the working group comment period currently underway. The primary technical change is in how the SAMP hub can be used.

-- TomMcGlynn (Sep 20, 2010)

Data Access Layer WG

The SSAP specification has been clarified to resolve minor inconsistencies, producing SSAP 1.1; the TCG and/or Exec need to decide if the full REC process needs to be followed for such an update.

The working group is currently developing working drafts for PQL and SIAv2. In the longer term we will be analysing the SED science case and identifying requirements for new service specification(s) or new versions of existing specifications. Once the DM WG has made sufficient progress on Photometry DM, the DAL WG will be able to consider the effect on SSAP and decide if we are to work on SSAP 1.2 or 2.0 at that time.

The working group will also be working with other groups (Theory IG and VOEvent) on gathering and analysing use cases for accessing light curves, events, and simulations. -- PatrickDowler - 17 Sep 2010

Data Models WG

The working group is currently finishing the WD for Observation Core components data model and its implementation.

PhotDMv1-1 is currently updated by ESAC team.

A new draft for Characterisation v2.0 is currently written .

Plans for next year are detailed in the IVOARoadMap document.

-- MireilleLouys - 20 Sep 2010

Grid and Web Services Working Group

Work has continued intermittently since Victoria. Universal Worker Service (UWS) is now complete and on track to become a Recommendation at this Exec meeting. Support Interfaces (VOSI) and Web Service Basic Profile (WSBP) are being revised in light of RFC comments and should proceed to TCG review soon. A number of issues with VOSpace 2.0 WD have now been resolved and a new version of the WD resolving these will be released in a few weeks. We hope to test interoperability between reference implementations before the Nara IVOA meeting and then proceed to PR, etc. VOPipe is currently awaiting the completion of VOSpace 2.0.

This WG has been particularly hard hit by the loss of Astrogrid participation and we ask IVOA Exec members to encourage appropriate individuals within their home projects to join in so that we have good international representation.

-- MatthewGraham - 18 Sep 2010

Registry WG

Semantics/UCD WG

Work has progressed on vocabularies in collaboration with the Theory IG, which was presented in the recent SimDays meeting held in Strasbourg on september 16-17.

The WG roadmap has been revised, and the main wiki page will be shortly refreshed accordingly.

Several actions will take place before the next interoperability meeting :

  • progress on new UCD v1.3 document
  • work on Units, idetified as a priority in the VO core architecture
  • publish a reference list of existing ontologies and use cases for ontologies
  • start collaboration on semantic annotations

-- SebastienDerriere - 20 Sep 2010


Significant work has been done on the VOEvent v2.0 working draft since Victoria. We plan to release this for comment within the WG in a few weeks. Editing in progress on the Hotwired book. R. Williams chaired the Transient Infrastructure session at the LSST all hands meeting in Tucson - immediately before LSST was announced as the #1 priority of the US Decadal Survey. (VOEvent is baseline technology for LSST.) R. Seaman and R. Williams will conduct a tutorial, "Techniques in Time Domain Astronomy" at the Boston ADASS. Interesting conversations continue with various time domain projects, e.g., through several well attended sessions on time domain aspects of observatory operations at the San Diego SPIE. VOEvent infrastructure is being maintained and extended. IAU Comms. 5 & 6 have reported back to the IAU Exec regarding their positions on a task group addressing the CBAT question. -- RobSeaman - 16 Sep 2010


VOTable WG

Data Curation and Preservation IG

The IG and members of the TCG have been engaged in discussions on how to best publish and cite IVOA standards in the literature. The general consensus is that the best way to accomplish this is to have the IVOA Document coordinator submit appropriate versions of the standards to the arXiv as well as ADS upon their online publications. Submitting IVOA standard documents to the arXiv ensures wide dissemination of this content, provides a simple and well-established way for users to cite the standard, and ensures archival of prior document versions. Submitting the final version of a recommendation to the ADS provides the proper visibility to the "copy of record" for the standard, as well as a way to track its citations and use.

The DC&P group within the VAO is re-engaging the American Astronomical Society in a discussion over the current interlinking of journal articles with data and metadata products hosted by astrophysics data archives, and the publication and preservation of machine readable tables associated with said articles. The current effort is focused on understanding the workflows and archival procedures currently implemented by the different stakeholders with a the eventual goal of improving upon them. -- AlbertoAccomazzi - 20 Sep 2010

Knowledge Discovery in Databases IG

Theory IG

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