SAI RVO Project Report 2005

Russian Virtual Observatory was founded in 2002. However there was no real scientific activity within it, that could be partially explained by weak knowledge in Russian astronomical community about Virtual Observatory and insufficient maturity of VO technology.

SAI RVO development group was organized in Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow University, in summer 2005, to meet the requirements of modern astronomy to develop unified access to astronomical data using generally adopted standards. Primary goal of the group is to develop fully functional node of Virtual Observatory in Russia and to solve typical astrophysical problems using VO technology. SAI RVO team includes 10 active members; on Sep 19, 2005 SAI RVO team has applied to Russian Foundation of a Basic Research for a 3-year grant. Team plans to solve:

  • typical astrophysical problems using VO facilities:
    • supernovae statistics investigations
    • star formation history investigation in close galaxies by their spectra
    • search for single neutron stars
    • research in cepheids evolution field
    • search and classification of variable objects in scanned archive of 150-year long SAI observations
  • technological tasks:
    • software development for basic and full Skynode based on true Open Source solutions (PostgreSQL RDBMS)
  • technical tasks:
    • bringing several original SAI catalogs into VO-ready state and provide public access to them
  • organisational tasks:
    • participation in VO WGs for standarts and technologies preparation
    • conducting of VO tutorials among Russian astronomical community

Progress report

  • SAI RVO team has developed new sky-indexing scheme – Q3C (QuadTree Cube) and its realization for PostgreSQL RDBMS. That sky-indexing scheme allows to execute main spatial astronomical queries (Xmatch and Cone search) very fast. It works perfectly and quickly even for largest catalogues like 2MASS and USNO-B. Q3C has been developed as PostgreSQL extension and will be available for free download soon.
  • SAI RVO team has started support of ADQL translation to PostgreSQL's SQL dialect based on XSL transformation technique. XSL is platform independent standard XML technology.
  • SAI RVO team has deployed Astrogrid software (versions 1.0, 1.1) for exploring possibility to integrate PostgreSQL support (ADQLtoPgSQL layer and Q3C indexing algorithm) into Astrogrid package.