IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (TM59)

TM59 - 08 Sep 2015 (Telecon)

WebEx Info:

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Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 (16:00 UTC)

Agenda TM59

  1. Roll Call and Agenda (JE)
  2. Minutes of FM58 and FM58S
  3. Review of Actions
  4. Project Reports [Significant Events Only]
  5. TCG status
  6. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  7. IVOA Standards Process Discussion (MG)
  8. Future Interops
    • Northern Fall 2015 - Sydney, Austalia (Oct 30-Nov01; after ADASS)
    • Northern Spring 2016 - S Africa (May)
    • Northern Fall 2016 - Trieste, Italy (Oct 21-23; after ADASS)
  9. Date of Next Exec Meeting
  10. AOB
  11. Review of Action Items



Armenian Virtual Obesrvatory (ArVO), report 2015.09.06

1. ArVO has initiated a project of Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) Plate Archive digitization and scientific usage (shortly, BAO Plate Archive Project, BAO PAP). BAO has been recognized as National Value by the Armenian Government and extra funding has been allocated. An equivalent of EUR 45,000 has been awarded to BAO PAP. BAO holds one of the largest astronomical archives, including 2000 spectroscopic plates of Markarian Survey. Altogether, BAO archive holds 37,000 astronomical plates, films or other carriers of observational data. The project is aimed at compilation, accounting, digitization of BAO observational archive photographic plates and films, as well as their incorporation in databases with modern standards and methods, providing access for all observational material and development of new scientific programs based on this material. BAO electronic plate database will be accomplished and an interactive sky map will be built allowing access and using the digitized data. The plate databse will give full access by various parameters: sky area, observing project, telescope, observing mode, date of observation, observer, etc.

2. A meeting ́Astronomical Surveys and Big Dataî dedicated to 50th anniversary of Markarian Survey and 10th anniversary of Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO) will be held on Oct 5-9, 2015 in Byurakan, Armenia. We intend to combine astronomers and computer scientists with heavy involvement of astronomical surveys, catalogs, archives, databases and VOs. Our meeting will contribute to the following:

- Review and discuss large astronomical surveys to summarize observational data obtained in astronomy

- Give tribute to Markarian Survey and other important surveys
- Review and discuss astronomical catalogues, databases and archives
- Learn about major upcoming surveys (including PanSTARRS, Gaia, and LSST)
- Learn and discuss how large observational data sets are changing astronomy
- Introduce tools and techniques for working with large data sets (including access, analysis, and visualization)
- Discuss the future of astronomical research by joint efforts of astronomers and computer scientists


- Historical surveys; Byurakan surveys for active galaxies (Markarian, Arakelian, Kazarian) and others
- Surveys for exoplanets
- Surveys for stars and nebulae
- Extragalactic and cosmological surveys
- Cross-identifications between surveys and discovery of new objects
- Future large-area surveys
- Digitization of astronomical data
- Astronomical catalogues, archives and databases
- Computational astrophysics and virtual observatories

Meeting webpage: http://asbd.aras.am/index.html

3. Armenia (Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, BAO) will host an IAU Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (ROAD), namely South West Asian (SWA) one. VO will be one of the priorities in SWA ROAD and ArVO will take responsibility for this.


AstroGrid activities are currently into Euro-VO




China-VO public service portal, AstroCloud, comes into shape. Five channels, including Observation, Data, Tools, Cloud and Public, provide users a whole lifecycle management environments for astronomical data. With the launch of the first astronomical citizen science project, Public Supernova search Project (PSP), on July 29, the number of registered users is increasing fast. By September 6, it is 1328.

Five proposals submitted by China-VO members to Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in early of the year were approved. Research topics of the proposals include distributed data archiving, automatic cross identification algorithm, dedicated high reliable storage system, high efficient search methods and system, and catalog building. These proposals will be funded by NSFC in the coming 3 years. Furthermore, an education and public outreach funding was awarded to China-VO to develop advanced interactive digital planetarium system basing on Worldwide Telescope (WWT).




The current focus of IVOA activities is within the ASTERICS project. This is a e15million 4 year EU project which co-ordinates data handling aspects of the key ESFRI projects - ELT, SKA, CTA, KM3NET (ESO/E-ELT is associated to te project). The Euro-VO partnership leads workpackage 4 (DADI - Data Access, Discovery and Interoperability). EGO/VIRGO/ET (gravitational waves) is also among the WP partners. We are just about to hold the next of our long running "Tech Forum" meetings, which will now include representatives from those major planned facilities as well as VO specialists. We are very excited about this new project both because it provides significant funding and because we are sure that close liaison with facilities and missions is crucial for the future of the VO.

The next ASTERICS WP4 events will be an ESFRI Forum & Training Event, which will be organised in Trieste, 3-4 December 2015, and a School organised in Madrid 15-17 December. The IVOA Interoperability meetings are of course identified as project milestones. ASTERICS WP4 participants are also invited to attend the RDA Plenary meetings, and at least 5 of the WP partners will attend the Sixth RDA Plenary, which will be held in Paris 23-25 September 2015.


France VO







On 3rd September 2015 three South African Universities launched the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA http://www.uct.ac.za/dailynews/?id=9342) with support from the South Africa Department of Science and Technology. IDIA will develop capacity for big data management and analysis over a variety of disciplines. It is a spin-off of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project and its founding director is Prof Russ Taylor. We are considering how IDIA and SA3 should interface to maximize their reach and impact.





Report from the TCG

A new version of the SIAV2 PR has been produced and this will now enter a further TCG review phase. This addresses largely editorial comments that were made during the previous review but also the so-called Sesto agreement about syntax. The RFC period for UWS 1.1 ended on August 8th and the editors are currently addressing comments received. Spectral 2.0 is ready to enter RFC as is the VOEvent Transport Protocol. A TCG telecon is planned for the week of Sept 14th.

Reports from the WGs

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Topic revision: r8 - 2015-09-13 - FrancoiseGenova
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