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Paper: AstroGrid: the UK's Virtual Observatory Initiative
Volume: 281, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XI
Page: 3
Authors: Mann, Robert G.; The Astrogrid Consortium; Lawrence, Andy; Davenhall, Clive; Mann, Bob; McMahon, Richard; Irwin, Mike; Walton, Nic; Rixon, Guy; Watson, Mike; Osborne, Julian; Page, Clive; Allan, Peter; Giaretta, David; Perry, Chris; Pike, Dave; Sherman, John; Murtagh, Fionn; Harra, Louise; Bentley, Bob; Mason, Keith; Garrington, Simon
Abstract: AstroGrid is the UK's Virtual Observatory (VO) initiative. It brings together the principal astronomical data centres in the UK, and has been funded to the tune of ∼pounds 5M over the next three years, via PPARC, as part of the UK e--science programme. Its twin goals are the provision of the infrastructure and tools for the federation and exploitation of large astronomical (X-ray to radio), solar and space plasma physics datasets, and the delivery of federations of current datasets for its user communities to exploit using those tools. Whilst AstroGrid's work will be centred on existing and future (e.g. VISTA) UK datasets, it will seek solutions to generic VO problems and will contribute to the developing international virtual observatory framework: AstroGrid is a member of the EU-funded Astrophysical Virtual Observatory project, has close links to a second EU Grid initiative, the European Grid of Solar Observations (EGSO), and will seek an active role in the development of the common standards on which the international virtual observatory will rely. In this paper we shall primarily describe the concrete plans for AstroGrid's one-year Phase A study, which will centre on: (i) the definition of detailed science requirements through community consultation; (ii) the undertaking of a ``functionality market survey" to test the utility of existing technologies for the VO; and (iii) a pilot programme of database federations, each addressing different aspects of the general database federation problem. Further information on AstroGrid can be found at AstroGrid .
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