AG-SAG - Full Meeting #9

Date and Location: British Antartic Survey, Cambridge, 12 Jun 2006, 10.00-16.00

Supporting Paperwork:

What? Link to Resource Comments
Project Scientist Slides [.pdf] NicholasWalton
Recent AstroGrid developments [.pdf] [.sxi] AnitaRichards
Solar and STP update [.pdf] SilviaDalla


09.45 Coffee available on arrival  
10.00 Welcome NW
10.05 Review of Feb 06 meeting minutes (SAG8) and actions AJ/NW
10.15 Feedback from AstroGrid Oversight Committee Meeting, Feb 06 (Minutes) AJ
10.30 Feedback from Euro-VO Science Advisory Committee Apr 2006 AJ
10.45 Update on AstroGrid development through to IAU 2006 AMSR
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee  
11.30 AstroGrid May 2006 tools call: Ranking of Proposals AJ
12.15 Demo of current functionality updates in release v1.3 (Open to ALL) (Time TBC) AMSR/SD
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch Buffet
13.30 - 13.50 Closed Session AJ
13.50 AG Solar/STP services update SD
14.00 Technical update (inc IVOA issues) KN
14.20 Future of AstroGrid - new proposal AL/NW
15.00 Update on VOTECH stage 3 (Apr-Sep 06) plans NW
15.15 Increasing the use of the AstroGrid system AJ
  - feedback from ongoing Imperial sci workshop - see AgImperialWorkshopMar06 AJ
  - development of use cases AG with SAG NW
  - user survey NW
  - papers for the IAU VO Special Session (26 Jun 2006 abstracts due) NW
15.45 Future AstroGrid meetings and Workshops NW
15.55 AOB AJ
16.00 Close and Tea  



  • Tom Marsh (TM)

Notes of Meeting

Review of actions SAG Meeting 8, Issues arising from AGOC 02/06:

See project scientist slides.

AJ: AGOC wanted to make sure that AG is engaging with the community and getting feedback.

Feedback from VOTECH Science Advisory Committee:

AJ: Input from SAG can be passed on to broader context of VOTECH SAC. The issue was brought up of how to measure that the VO is working. Other topics discussed: how the project is presenting itself to the public - eg websites etc. Public understanding of science.

NW: Astrogrid is one of the few VO projects with science input (AGSAG).

Update on Astrogrid developments:

Slides AMSR.

Discussion: there are several ways of making data available. Data centers in the UK should be encouraged to support ADQL queries by installing DSA software. Not just supporting cone searches via the IVOA protocol. Astronomers want to be able to do queries that are more sophisticated than just position.

Tools Call discussion

AJ lead the discussion of the ranking for the tools call proposals that had been received

Lunchtime AG Solar/STP demo

SD gave a brief demo of AG capabilities of relevance to the STP community. Members of BAS attended.

Solar/STP update

SD: slides

LF: streesed the importance of gaining access to STEREO and Solar-B data via AG as early as possible. Technical issues could be discussed at the upcoming Solar-B workshop.

Technical Update

KTN: Slides

AL: UKIDSS dataset access requires authentication and authorisation. This will be the case also for ALMA in future.

KTN: Highlights of cycle 3 are: Astrogrid Runtime (initially client only, now split into server and client), PLASTIC, DSA reorganisation into a family of components (including DSA/Catalogue, SIAP and STAP), Query Builder and VOSpace.

KTN: We are examining Taverna as workflow engine. It will need to have some server capability.

KTN: Web presence is being consolidated. Plone has been chosen to help restructure web site and wiki into one searchable entity.

AL: PLASTIC and Astro Runtime were a big hit at the last IVOA meeting in Victoria. Having done a lot work on infrastructure has paid off.

AstroGrid - the next phase

AL: A new AG proposal is being prepared (deadline July 13, reviewed by PPRP in September, result in January 2007). Advice from AGSAG is being solicited. Next phase will be about producing an operational service. It will include technological development too.

NW: slides.

RGM: The proposal should include hardware - The US VOs will not be providing infrastructure for UK astronomers.

AL: If Astrogrid did not provide central services for registry, VO dataset access etc this work would still need to be done by the individual data centers. It makes sense to have this done 'centrally'.

SO: ESA and ESO are more and more taking control of the 'serving data' side of things.

NW: The proposal is not for funding data centers and data archiving, it deals with providing the best possible tools to access and work with the data.

AMSR: Astrogrid gives the added value of interoperability between different datasets. This is not provided by individual archives. Also, data archives need a stable VO, they need to know that the way in which they are providing data to the VO now will be supported in future.

AL: The tool call provision will be continued and will support science work from postdocs etc.

Increasing usage of Astrogrid system

NW reported that a user survey of the AstroGrid system was now proposed. The SAG suggested that this survey be issued after the IAU General Assembly, thus October would be a good time frame to issue the survey. It was AGREED that NW would draw up a draft survey form - and that the SAG would provide comment. It was noted that it was importnat to carefully word the questions such that the maximoum amount of useful information could be returned.

NT mentioned that the last few Starlink questionnaires had been useful, and that these should be looked at when drafting up the AG questionnaire.


The date of the next meeting was provisionanly set for Thurs 28 Sep 2006 at the University of Durham. CB to host.

The meeting closed at 16.30.


Claims for expenses can be made on the Leicester Expenses Claim Form (pdf). Please download, fill in, attach receipts (Leics will reject claims without receipts unless 'no receipt' is explicitly stated against an item), and send to:

Janet Bee
University of Leicester,
Dept of Physics & Astronomy,
University Road,

Please mark the Claim as 'AstroGrid: Science Advisory Group Meeting'

Travel and Accomodation

Full travel details at

Getting to BAS

The meeting will be held in the BAS conference room. On arrival at BAS - report to reception and you will be shown the way to the meeting room.

Full details as to location to follow.

Wireless and Network Connections

Wireless networking is available in the meeting room.

-- NicholasWalton - 07 Jun 2006
Topic revision: r21 - 2006-06-14 - 11:21:33 - NicholasWalton
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