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JRA4 Task #2: Interoperable Data Access

Interoperable Data Access, leader CNRS/CESR (Christian Jacquey, jacquey(at)

Task 2 will establish the basis allowing the evolution of SA-IDIS towards a future VO for planetary sciences. Meanwhile Task 2 will also provide a web-based general inventory of resources associated with a search engine. This inventory will allow users to search resources based on general keywords. Such an approach is appropriate for interactive resource exploration, but will not fit the VO requirement (i.e. automated search up to the content of datasets).

Task 2 will prepare the basis for a Planetary VO in three steps, by focusing on limited objectives

Step 1 will create a basic operational service for searching and retrieving observational data (Level-1 Virtual Observatory) by :

  • developing a data model up to the dataset level for the observational data. A data model is a structured and standardised way of describing resources which will allow applications to search, retrieve and use them in an automated fashion
  • building, testing, validating and providing associated tools allowing the providers (i) to describe their resources accordingly with the datamodel and (ii) to build an interoperability layer on their server, i.e., to make publishing registries accessible and to implement web-services for remotely exploiting these registries and eventually to extract data.
  • deploying the basic architecture of a restricted VO (limited at the dataset level) including searchable registries and harvesting process. This architecture will be fed by the data providers using the tools made available.
  • building a web-based search engine.

As a first deliverable service task 2 provided a space data access service to access data stored in the Planetary Data System (PDS) in the US or in the European archive. The tools can be downloaded here. Related documentation can be accessed as a PDF file.

Step 2 will consider the implementation on the L1 VO of prototype interfaces needed to access an external VO and external databases, to format and exchange requests, to search and retrieve data. Targeted resources will be the spectroscopic databases and the chemical kinetics databases developed by Task 3 of this JRA, and the VO for solar and space physics.

Step 3 will investigate the implementation of the VO in limited fields of planetary sciences for which interoperability standards are more advanced, plasma physics for example,

  • developing data models up to the granule and parameter levels
  • providing associated tools
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