New Coordination Among Major NASA Astrophysics Data Centers

Volume 13, Number 4, December 1997
By Joseph King and Richard White

To facilitate multiwavelength astrophysical research, a new Astrophysics Data Center Coordination Council (ADC**3 for short) has been formed. This group consists of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) at Goddard, the High Energy Astrophysics Division (including the AXAF Science Center) at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/Caltech, and the NSSDC. The first four of these groups cover specific wavelength ranges, from high energy gamma rays and X-rays (HEASARC and SAO) through ultraviolet (UV) and optical (STScI), to radio and IR data (IPAC). NSSDC supports permanent data archiving across the full spectrum and with its GSFC partner, the Astrophysics Data Facility, provides selected additional support mainly in the IR data, ADC catalogs, and user interface areas.

An early focus of this group is to enable easy multiwavelength data finding for which the Astrobrowse software package possibly with multiple front-end interfaces will be used. Intermediate (one to two years) to longer (more than two years) term goals will enable access to and retrieval of files from multiple sites corresponding to desired observations of user-selected objects or classes thereof to eventually enabling uniform display and analysis of such multiwavelength observations.

This thrust to coordinate better across NASA's major astrophysics data centers is partly due to the general focus on NASA data interoperability emerging from the Space Science Data Service. This thrust is also cognizant of developments at non-NASA astrophysics data centers, including ground-based astronomy and international centers such as the Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS) in France.

The ADC**3 group is informally constituted at present. It first met in December 1997 at Goddard and expects to have quarterly meetings on a rotating basis. Robert Hanisch (STScI) and Steven Murray (SAO) share the early group coordination roles.

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Miranda Beall, beall@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov, (301) 286-0162
Raytheon STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.

Erin D. Gardner, gardner@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov, (301) 286-0163
Raytheon STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.



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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 26 JAN 98 [EDG]