Summary of activities January 2017 - March 2017

WP1 - Management

  • Organization of GENIUS last plenary meeting together with the Second DPAC Consortium Meeting in Sitges, 23 - 27 January.
  • Organization of GENIUS External Advisory Board meeting (March)
  • Organization of final meeting in Brussels with Project Officer and External Reviewer (April)

WP2 - User community

  • Brown, Yamada, Moitinho, Walton, and Marrese participated in the GENIUS plenary meeting at Sitges (2017-01-25), reporting on the WP2 activities over the duration of the project.
    • Maresse reported in the activities for Task 2.4 over the duration of the project.
    • Yamada reported on the Japanese GENIUS activities.
    • Moitinho summarized the requirements gathering effort on the visualization tasks for the Gaia Archive.
    • Walton summarized the efforts on overall Gaia archive requirements analysis.
  • Massari was appointed for the remaining 3 months of the GENIUS personnel funding in Leiden. He has revisited the user requirements collected so far (AB-026) and even accouting for the experience from the use of Gaia DR1 in mind, did not find any missing requirements or the need to add new ones.

WP3 - System design

T3.1 Technical Coordination

  • Hambly organised a the sixth Gaia DPAC CU9 WP930 / GENIUS WP3 review meeting (minutes available on the DPAC Wiki here)
  • Hambly presented a status update for CU9 WP930, including GENIUS contributions, at the GENIUS / DPAC consortium meeting in Sitges, Jan 23-27 (presentations available here)
  • Hambly participated in a final GENIUS wrap-up meeting, presenting the status of WP3, in a splinter session at the GENIUS / Gaia DPAC meeting in Sitges, Jan 25 (presentation available here)
  • Hambly met with representatives of ESDC, CU9 WP973 / GENIUS WPs 4 & 7 (validation and data mining) to discuss architectural issues concerning scalability for future Gaia DRs and possible migration from relational DBMS as server-side back-end store to a hardware cluster employing distributed file-store (Hadoop / HDFS), column-oriented storage (Parquet) and associated interface layers (e.g. Spark/SQL)
  • Hambly organised and chaired a Gaia DR2 Data Model kick-off telecon, Jan 31st, including representation from GENIUS (minutes available on the DPAC Wiki here)

T3.2 Aspects of archive interface design

  • Voutsinas has written up his ADQL autocomplete library (final draft here) and overseen it's deployment in the Gaia archive, working with the ESDC team

T3.3 VO infrastructure

  • IVOA Compliance document (D3.3) finalised (available from DPAC SVN here)
  • client-side TAP publishing software and associated documentation finalised and available from here (part of deliverables D3.4)

T3.4 Data Centre collaboration

  • Test suite (beta and stress testing) documentation finalised (part of deliverables D3.4 - D3.6; available on DPAC SVN here)
  • Final testing and documentation of Distributed Query Processing

T3.5 Data mining environments

  • Morris has submitted to Astronomy & Computing the paper "Use of Docker for deployment of astronomical software"

WP4 - Data Exploitation

T4.2 - Visualization


  • Visualisation Coordination Meeting in Viena between CU9 Visualisation WP980 manager and co-manager
  • Update WP Structure: Revise WP980 membership, level of resources. Started sub-WP organisation
  • Planning for DR2: New functionalities of visualisation web service.


  • More plot types and extended features for Archive web visualisation portal (2D binned plots, improved 3D scatter plots, Session saving and restoring)
  • Code optimisation (speed of serving visualisations)
  • Increased software test coverage
  • Bug identification and fixing
  • Started concept development of “Poster” visualisation for DR2

T4.3 - Data Mining

  • Team attended GENIUS/DPAC plenary meeting 23-27 Jan Sitges, Spain
  • New Virtual Image of a 'miniaturized' version of the platform is available for download. It incorporates all GDAF platform features.
  • Added new use cases to the Use cases list.
  • Participation in a Data Science course hosted by Cloudera. Main focus on Spark and other data science tools in the Big Data era.
  • Development of validation test cases as a demonstrator of the platform and the technology for the Validation working group.

T4.4 - VO tools and services

  • M. Taylor attend GENIUS/DPAC plenary meeting 23-27 Jan Sitges, Spain
  • New functionalities in Clusterix (M. López, P. Massana, E. Solano).
    • Implementation of the "query by object" capability.
    • Possibility of using circles or polygons to define the "cluster" and "field" regions.
    • VO services update: APOGEE DR13 (radial velocities). PPMXL, UCAC4 (proper motions).
    • Implementation of new visualization capabilities.
    • Look and feel improvement.
    • Code optimization. Increase of the speed of searches in VO services.
    • Bug identification and fixing.
    • Scientific evaluation of the tool using both real and synthetic clusters.
    • Generation of the associated documentation.

WP5 - Validation

T5.1 - Technical coordination

  • Most members attended GENIUS/DPAC plenary meeting 23-27 Jan Sitges, Spain
  • Organisation of a plenary meeting devoted to WP5 validation on January 26
  • Participation in a final GENIUS wrap-up meeting, presenting the status of WP5, in a splinter meeting in Sitges, Jan 25
  • Finalisation of the A&A validation paper
  • Preparation of the validation of preliminary DR2 data

T5.2 - Definition of problem cases, validation scenarios and tools

  • Development resumed: analysis of photometry, local smoothing of data

T5.3 - Simulation versus reality: from models to observables

T5.4 - Confronting Gaia to external archives

  • Preparation of the validation of preliminary DR2 data
  • New catalogues of distant objects included (dSph, SEGUE K giants, LAMOST DR2, LQAC4...)

T5.5 - Data demining: outlier analysis

  • Development resumed: local smoothing of data

T5.6 - Transversal tools for special objects

WP6 - Support

T6.2-Simulated Catalogue

No new simulations have been run in this last trimester but the GOG simulator is being readied for any simulators required by Gaia DR2. These new simulations will not part of GENIUS but will be run by the UB team as part of its continued contribution to Gaia.

T6.3-Science Alerts testbed

  • Members of the Gaia alerts teams attended the GENIUS/DPAC plenary meeting 23-27 Jan 2017, Sitges, Spain
  • The third testbed, D6.6 Deployment of third public science alerts prototype, released in Oct 2016. See continues in use. A range of intersting objects have been followed up.
  • The alerts publisher and marshall support the alerts followup community. For instance Gaia and followup photometry is published for each alert source (see Fig)
  • A number of papers describing the Gaia Alerts photmetric system are now in preparation for publication as part of the Gaia DPAC paper set.

WP7 - Dissemination

T7.1 - Coordination of dissemination activities

  • Meeting to review outreach activities. Sitges (Spain), January 27th, in the framework of the Gaia DPAC Consortium Meeting #2. Review of outreach activities in the last months, in particular those related to DR2. Future plans for hand-over of Gaiaverse to the community,, beyond GENIUS.
  • “Formation on scientific communication”. (Coordination X. Luri) Sitges (Spain), January 24th and 25th, in the framework of the Gaia DPAC Consortium Meeting #2. Two sessions devoted to improve scientific communication skills. 50 participants. Teachers: O. Marimon and H. González (Big Van).

T7.2 - Community portal infrastructure

There have been no more changes on the portal infrastructure that is ready for the handover to the Gaia community.

T7.3 - Community portal, outreach and academic activities

From January-March 2017 Twitter numbers are:

  • January: tweets (5), tweet impressions (6,913), profile visits (644), mentions (7), new followers (14), total number of followers in January 2017 (427).
  • February: tweets (0), tweet impressions (1,393), profile visits (177), mentions (1), new followers (0), total number of followers in February 2017 (427).
  • March: tweets (), tweet impressions (), profile visits (), mentions (), new followers (), total number of followers in March 2017 (). *
Topic revision: r16 - 2017-03-24 - LolaBalaguer
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