IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (TM39)

*Tuesday March 15 @ 17.00 CET



DRAFT Agenda TM39

  1. Roll Call and Agenda (MA)
  2. Minutes of FM38S, Minutes of FM38 (PP)
  3. Status of Actions (MA)
  4. Project Reports - Significant Events Only
  5. Report of the TCG meeting and TCG status (CA)
  6. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  7. Report on the Committee on Science Priorities (DDY)
  8. New IVOA members (PP)
  9. Inactive IVOA members (PP)
  10. Future Interops (FP, AK)
  11. Date of next meeting
  12. AOB
  13. Summary of Actions (MA)

Reports from the Projects

Argentina - NOVA


ArVO group members at present are: A.M. Mickaelian (Principal Investigator), H.V. Astsatryan (Technical Manager), T.Yu. Magakian and L.K. Erastova (Project Scientists), L.A. Sargsyan and P.K. Sinamyan (Scientific/Technical Assistants), Aram Knyazyan (PhD student working on implementation of VO interface and standards in ArVO), G.S. Harutyunyan (MSc student), and G.A. Mikayelyan (Web Master) (http://www.aras.am/Arvo_group/team_members.htm).

Work on creation of the Virtual Observatory standard interface SkyNode on the ArmCluster has been carried out. It is a protocol for querying VO data systems. A special attention is given to the access to our data (particularly DFBS, Digitized First Byurakan Survey low-dispersion spectra) through its interface. SkyNode will become the main portal for data query in the Armenian VO, as in a number of other national VO projects.

The Byurakan Observatory electronic plate database has been updated and complemented with new data. Altogether, 35,000 photographic plates and film exposures are present. Works on installation of this database on the BAO and ArVO (ArmCluster) servers are being conducted. It gives full access by various parameters: sky area, observing project, telescope, observing mode, date of observation, observer, etc. The digitization works of the Byurakan archive plates are being continued. The digitized Byurakan plates will make up the main part of the Armenian astronomical data centre. Discussions on possible science projects were held.

The ISTC project (A-1606) on "Development of Armenian-Georgian Grid Infrastructure and applications in the Fields of High Energy Physics, Astrophysics and Quantum Physics" has been successfully finished in collaboration with 6 other Armenian and Georgian institutions, which included the development of Armenian-Georgian VO based on the plate databases of Byurakan and Abastumani observatories. This was the first attempt to create a regional VO, as in the future we will need to expand the VO projects regionally to cover larger areas in the world.


AstroGrid is no longer funded as a distinct project, but around half of the staff members remain employed on VO related projects, data centre activities, or individual grants. The user and deployer websites remain active; the registry is still running; tools such as VO Desktop and Topcat remain in use (Topcat increasingly so); and there is continuing interest in the technical infrastructure software such as the ADQL parser, the Astro Runtime library, the DSA modules, and so on. However it is not clear how long these things can be maintained, and we have not had resource to finish developing new tools such as Ravioli. We see the future of AstroGrid as an integrated part of Euro-VO rather than a distinct UK VO. We are in the process of identifying individuals who will be custodians of various key parts of the software suite.




Please refer to the report submitted to FM38 at: http://wiki.ivoa.net/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/IvoaExecMeetingFM38#China_VO


The CVO project has continued in implementing current and proposed standards:

Our ObsCoreDM implementation in the CAOM TAP service is up to date with the latest draft specification.

Our VOSpace-2.0 service is now almost completely compliant with the current draft specification, including the synchronous transfer negotiation and various error messages. Once we implement the server-to-server transfer negotiations we will be able to participate in interoperability testing with other VOSpace-2.0 services. The VOSpace service is being used by teams of astronomers to share data products and as part of user processing pipelines running in the CANFAR cloud computing infrastructure.

In the near future, we will be completing the implementation of VOSpace-2.0, implementing the draft TAP registry extension (TAPRegExt) in the CAOM TAP service, and working to enhance the capabilities and content.

The source code for UWS, TAP, VOSpace, and VOSI are available at http://opencadc.googlecode.com/ and we will begin defining a more collaborative interaction with the VO developer community in the near future.


The report takes into account the period since October 2010, since no report was posted on the Exec meeting web pages since then

Euro-VO International Cooperation Empowerment (EuroVO-ICE, http://www.eurovo-ice.eu/) strated on 1 September 2010, for a duration of 12 months. It is a Coordination Action supported by EU in the framework of the FP7 initiative. This is a small 'bridging' project which continues to ensure coordination of VO actions in Europe. This includes the organisation of "Euro-VO Technology forums", which gather European VO teams on a six-monthly basis: the first one was held in Edinburgh on 19-21 October 2010, the second will take place in Trieste on 12-14 April 2011. Another important action is the organisation of a EuroVO-ICE school on the successful model developed by the EuroVO-AIDA project. The goals of the School are to expose European astronomers to the variety of VO tools and services available today so that they can use them efficiently for their own research. It will be held in Strasbourg on 21-24 March 2011. The set of science tutorials available in the Euro-VO pages at http://www.euro-vo.org/pub/fc/workflows.html, which are also used in similar events organised at the national or local level, are being updated at this occasion.



France VO

This report covers F-VO activities since March 2010 (the last F-VO activity report has been posted on the TM35 page)

F-VO has continued its activities for the coordination of the French VO actions: support to travels to the Interop meetings, support to the organisation of collaborations at the regional level and to organisation of meetings of several of its Working Groups (Grid, Theory - with European participation in the framework of EuroVO-AIDA, Planetary Science). It also organised a VO School at CDS, Strasbourg, on 2-4 June 2010, on the template of the Euro-VO schools.

The annual meeting, held in Paris on 11-12 October 2010 (http://www.france-ov.org/twiki/bin/view/ASOVFrance/Reunion2010), demonstrated once again the wide range of VO activities in French laboratories (VO standards and VO-compliant services and tools), and the wealth of interdisciplinary development, with presentations on VO in planetary sciences, solar physics, geodesy, atomic and molecular databases. Outreach of activities towards the scientific community was also discussed. All presentations (in French) are available from http://www.france-ov.org/twiki/bin/view/ASOVFrance/ProgrammeASOV2010.

The following IVOA standards including French authors have been accepted as REC since March 2010: IVOA Document Standards V1.2 (March 2010), SLAP V1.0 (December 2010), SLLDM V1.0 (December 2010), SAMP V1.2 (December 2010), WS BP (December 2010). Work on going in particular on future DAL, DM and Theory standards.


The current funding period for GAVO runs out in June 2011. The GAVO group prepared and submitted a new proposal for funding of the next three years (7/2011 - 6/2014) in December 2010, following an announcement of opportunity by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in August 2010. The results will probably be announced in April 2011; we are moderately optimistic.

In terms of daily operations, GAVO continued the operation of its data center, still inviting people to use its resources, e.g., to bring tables into TAP space (which was used by, e.g., the Italian BaSTI group). We currently fund the development of a TAP client in TOPCAT. The data center software grew support for SSAP and VODataService 1.1. In standards, we are currently pushing the TAPRegExt registry extension, for which a Working Draft has been finished.








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

Applications WG

Work has begun on the formalization of the Web profile used to enable SAMP communication for web-based services. This will allow communication between web-based and locally hosted applications.

Discussion has started on the desirability and possible mechanisms for dynamic discovery and initiation of SAMP applications.

Substantial progress towards resolution of both of these topics is anticipated at the Naples InterOp.

Data Access Layer WG

WD-TAPRegExt-1.0 has been written and shared in the WG for comment

WD-SSA-1.1 was delayed waiting for WD-SpectrumDM-1.1, but a new version has recently been updated and shared in the WG for comment. This is an errata revision intended to fix bugs and resolve inconsistencies between SSA-1.0 and SpectrumDM-1.0. If there are no issues raised by SSA-1.0 service implementors or application developers by the end of March, the RFC period will begin on March 31

WD-DALI-1.0 has a defined author list and we expect a new version of the WD by the end of March

WD-SSA-1.2 is delayed pending a public WD-SpectrumDM-1.2

Data Models WG

  • SpectrumDM v1.1
Updates issued in January by Jonathan McDowell. Draft circulated on DM list

  • Photometry efforts
PhotDMv1-1 1.0:agreed in Nara to share basic concepts with SED modeling effort . Need last agreement among authors for convergence.

SED data model /!PhotometrypointDM: draft issued in January by Jonathan McDowell to circulate soon.

SpectrumDM v1.2 data model draft issued in January by Jonathan McDowell

    • expands Spectrum1.1
    • contains Photometry metadata re-used from PhotometrypointDM
    • contains Time Series examples
discussion to start on the DM list.

  • ObsTAP
Draft published Feb 28th on DAL and DM list. Currently reviewed in the WGs.

  • Characterisation DM v2.0/
F.Bonnarel currently editing the draft . This document expands previous version of CharDM and define support for:
    • polarised data,
    • variability along the characterisation axes ( CharDM level4)
    • composed data
next version of the draft to be issued March 31

  • Utypes Note
still pending- currently needed to publish new DM and their Utype list. revision of the previous draft, summary of issues to be circulated within a small group (Matthew Graham, Jonathan McDowell, Sebastien Derrière, M.Louys) --> plan to have a revised document by mid-April.

  • Simulation DM
new draft issued 01 March and circulated this week on the DM list and Theory list.

Grid and Web Services Working Group

  • The TCG review of VOSI has completed and some minor revisions and clarifications are required to the document; in particular, the revised language about service conformance that arose out of the Nara meeting.
  • There has been active discussion on the mailing list about the finer points of the VOSpace 2.0 specification as reference implementations have been developed since Nara. These should be ready for interoperability testing before Naples where everything will be reviewed and it should hopefully progress to PR soon thereafter.
  • Feedback has been provided on the UWS library by Gregory Mantelet. Discussion about the next version of UWS is planned for Naples.
  • There has been some investigation of OAuth as an authorization mechanism within VAO. This will also be discussed in Naples.

Registry WG

Semantics/UCD WG


PR-VOEvent-2.0-20110314 has been published: http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/VOEvent/20110314

The plan is to take VOEvent v2.0 to RFC on 28 March 2011, and the hope to TCG review on 25 April, with the aspiration of getting it to Exec review by the Napoli Interop. VOEvent v2.0 has been extensively discussed in numerous forums for many months (years even). The current draft is significantly simplified by the removal of explicit time series, decoupling this standard from the broader issue of same in the IVOA.

About 500 copies of the VOEvent WG's "Hot-Wiring the Transient Universe" (http://hotwireduniverse.org) have been distributed at the recent ADASS, AAS and "Telescopes from Afar" conferences. PDF and Kindle versions are also available. The intent is to revise the book for a 2nd edition in time to be distributed at IAU Symposium 285, "New Horizons in Time Domain Astronomy" (http://www.physics.ox.ac.uk/IAUS285) in September. Hence a wish for a timely completion of the VOEvent v2.0 REC process. Further progress on contingent projects such as SEAP and registry VOEventStreams are also pending the VOEvent v2.0 REC.

The chair of the WG, Rob Seaman, was invited to speak on VOEvent at the "Afar" conference (http://tfa.cfht.hawaii.edu/program.php). Many exciting robotic and target-of-opportunity telescope projects participated. Particularly interesting was the strong participation of representatives from the LCOGT project, including Wayne Rosing. VO projects should be encouraged to engage with the broader community, especially other visionary projects like LCOGT whose requirements (strongly time domain) complement our own.

The vice chair, Roy Williams, reports progress on many fronts: IAU/CBAT has prototyped messaging in VOEvent v2.0 format, The Astronomers Telegram is evaluating same, Roy will be attending the upcoming GAIA workshop, ongoing planning for advanced LIGO, and etc.

Meetings will be held next week in Tucson between members of the VAO Team and LSST Data-Management Group as well as the LSST Transient and SNe science collaborations.

VOTable WG

Data Curation and Preservation IG

Knowledge Discovery in Databases IG

Theory IG

  • Discussions on SimDAL, including the TAP implementation, and the SimDB proposal will be resumed at the next INTEROP. These are the main and urgent efforts for the future.

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