PROJECT OVERVIEWThe DCA is an alliance of data centre communities represented at a national level. The DCA coordinates and assists European Data Centres to take up VO standards, share best practice for data providers, consolidate operational requirements for VO-enabled tools and systems and enable the identification and promotion of scientific requirements from programs of strategic national interest that require VO technologies and services. Funds for the DCA were allocated by the European Community, within the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), starting in September 2006 for a duration of 28 months.
European astronomy data centres maintain valueable data archives and important services which form the content of the Euro-VO. The DCA helps data centres in up-take of VO technologies to publish their data and services to the Euro-VO, by coodinating shared expertise, and providing assistance to European national VOs.
The EuroVO Data Centre Alliance produces a rare example of an operational, interoperable data and service grid, relying on generic infrastructure elements and, wherever required, on discipline-specific interoperability standards, with a discipline-wide, world-wide provider and user community. It aims at building a flexible environment adaptable to the astronomers needs, giving users seamless access to the heterogeneous, distributed, and in general freely accessible data and services provided by the data centres. The Virtual Observatory framework is also building a knowledge grid, including semantics description of data and services in the interoperability layer.
The top level objective of the EuroVO-DCA is to coordinate European Data Centres in forming a co-operating community enhancing the European astronomical eInfrastructure and, thereby, maximising the scientific utilisation of the rich astronomical on-line resources distributed all over Europe. The project enables the identification and promotion of requirements from programs of strategic European and national interest that require VO technologies and services. The implementation and sharing of standards and methods makes it possible to achieve a production-level European-wide eInfrastructure.
The objectives of EuroVO-DCA can then be summarized in 6 key points, corresponding to the project work packages:
- co-ordinate the national and European Agencies VO initiatives, to implement networking of European data centres (WP2),
- disseminate knowledge and good practice about the VO technical framework(WP3),
- organise feedback from implementation of interoperability standards(WP3-2),
- prepare the inclusion of theoretical astronomy in the VO framework(WP4),
- seek coordination with national and international projects for computational Grids(WP5),
- and help data centres from beyond the partner countries to participate in the VO endeavour(WP6).
A presentation from the Project Scientist is available here.