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The ADEC and ADEC White Paper. The HEASARC and The Virtual Observatory. Outline. What problem are we trying to solve? What do we need from the HUG? The ADCCC and ADEC Current VO Activities The ADEC White paper Draft Concepts Capabilities Approach Organization.

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The adec and adec white paper

The ADEC and ADEC White Paper

The HEASARC and The Virtual Observatory

Tom McGlynn


  • What problem are we trying to solve?

  • What do we need from the HUG?

  • The ADCCC and ADEC

  • Current VO Activities

  • The ADEC White paper

    • Draft Concepts

    • Capabilities

    • Approach

    • Organization

What is the problem we are trying to solve
What is the problem we are trying to solve?

  • Astrophysics science goals cannot be attained without coordinated use of data from multiple sources.

    • Decadal review VO recommendation

  • Virtual observatory activities are underway in the US and abroad.

  • What is NASA’s role?

    • Individual institutions are involved, but there is no systematic response.

Hug contributions
HUG contributions

  • Advice

    • What is the best approach?

    • What are the key components?

  • Endorsement and advocacy

    • As representatives of the community indicate that this is important to do.

    • As individual astronomers make it known that this is something you want.

Background of the adec
Background of the ADEC

  • ADCCC created in mid 90’s

    • Ad hoc organization of NASA archives with some outside representation

    • Keep each other informed of issues

    • Minimize duplication of effort

    • Address ‘boundary’ issues

      • EUVE archive

Creation of adec
Creation of ADEC

ADCCC formally recognized by NASA and reorganized as Astronomy Data Centers Executive Committee (Jan 2001).

  • Chair rotates each year

  • One representative from each data center.

  • CDS representative and potentially others from outside NASA.

Membership of the adec
Membership of the ADEC

  • NED – Barry Madore (chair)

  • ADS – Gunther Eichhorn

  • CXC – Pepi Fabbiano

  • IPAC - Andy Boden

  • IRSA – Bruce Berriman

  • GLAST – David Band

  • HEASARC – Tom McGlynn (acting)

  • LAMBDA – Gary Hinshaw

  • MAST – Marc Postman

  • NSSDC - Joe King

  • SIRTF – Lisa Storrie-Lombardi

  • HST - Paolo Padovani

  • CDS - Francoise Genova

Adec activities
ADEC Activities

  • Interface with journals

    • Standards for publishing data sets used in research

  • FITS technical working group

    • Build upon FITS standards

  • Interoperability technical working group

    • Establish interoperable systems within NASA centers.

Itwg charter
ITWG Charter

  • Provide seamless (one stop shopping) access to all the NASA astrophysics catalog and data services regardless of where the information is located.

    • All services will be accessible via standard protocols

    • Access will be via the existing user interfaces

    • Results will appear consistent with the interface that initiated the request.

    • Affiliation of the data to the original site will be clearly stated.

Current links
Current Links

  • Mostly ad hoc bilateral agreements between institutions (or reverse engineering of existing links)

  • Easily broken by updates from either side.

  • Rarely provide systematic access to remote resources.

Itwg results
ITWG results


  • Able to develop prototype interfaces, protocols and user services

    • Bibcode delivery to ADS

    • What services are available at a given region

    • Data set verifier services

  • Limited success in implementing these services over all centers or using them in operational user interfaces.

  • Hard to do real work for free….

Sawg presentation
SAWG Presentation

  • Results of ADEC and ITWG activities discussed at Science Archive Working Group (SAWG) meeting in October 2002.

  • SAWG requested White Paper describing the resources and approach needed to build a NASA interoperable archive.

  • SAWG will review and recommend action by NASA HQ.

    • Next SAWG meeting April 22-23

    • ADEC meeting on March 12

Status of white paper
Status of White Paper

  • Two different approaches suggested:

    • Build single unifying interface to integrate all archive systems

      • Master Object Directory

    • Agree on protocols and build systems on top of them

      • Continuation of ITWG approach but with actual resources.

    • Substantial overlap in content, but major differences in emphasis.

Master object directory
Master Object Directory.

  • All archives will process data received and provide a list of objects detected and datasets involved in a standardized way.

  • Lists of objects will be combined into a Master Directory of objects.

  • Users can query against master directory to find data in any NASA archive.

Master directory schematic





Object extractor

Object extractor

Object extractor

Object extractor

Catalog/Arch. I/F

Catalog/Arch. I/F

Catalog/Arch. I/F

Catalog/Arch. I/F

Master directory schematic

Object Info Updates



Requests for data associated with target

Object query

Requested data

MD Interface



  • Clearly defined deliverables and new capabilities for user.

  • Complex queries on objects possible as local queries on Master Directory.

  • Technical concerns:

    • Handling non-object oriented datasets

    • Hierarchical and extended objects

  • ‘Political’ concerns:

    • Is this something within the purview of NASA centers alone?

    • Do we want to concentrate on a single ‘master’ interface?

Interoperability layer approach
Interoperability Layer Approach

  • Build thin layer of agreed interfaces to access data.

  • Modify existing resources to access remote data using new layer.

  • Data models describe resources in common framework.

  • Use layer as foundation for new capabilities (perhaps including object directory)

  • Essentially implementing a three-tier architecture in NASA archive systems.

Interoperability layer schematic
Interoperability Layer Schematic




New Interfaces

Interoperability Layer Protocols








  • Builds upon existing systems and provides multiple portals to data.

  • Less explicit coupling of data centers and services

  • Deliverables less well defined and more diffuse.

  • Provides more incremental changes to systems rather than dramatic new capabilities.


  • Common interface layer

    • Catalog and archive access

    • Regions covered by observations

  • Data models

    • Need to agree on some common semantic concepts, e.g., object, image, spectra, … independent of how these are stored.

  • Cross-correlation

What does the community need
What does the community need?

  • Common access to data and catalogs

    • Can’t require users to know all of the different interfaces.

  • Ability to combine data from different sources.

    • Data model descriptions of data


  • Distributed management

  • Who does central oversight

Implications for heasarc
Implications for HEASARC

  • Substantially enhanced capabilities for joining data in Browse, SkyView, Astrobrowse and other services.

  • Access to HEASARC data resources through other data portals.

  • Better coordination of NSF-funded and NASA sponsored NVO activities.

  • Need to ensure that this does not incur long term liabilities.