A VO 'container' for astronomical optical/UV spectra

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Proceedings titleHighlights of astronomy: volume 14, as presented at the IAU XXVI General Assembly, 2006
Series titleInternational Astronomical Union. Highlights of astronomy; no. 14
ConferenceInternational Astronomical Union, 26th General Assembly, Special Session 3, The Virtual Observatory in Action: New Science, New Technology, and Next Generation Facilities, August 21-22, 2006, Prague, Czech Republic
AbstractFITS formats have provided a convenient means to access and interpret spectroscopic data for many years. However, each mission has been free to choose its FITS flavor and provide necessarily instrument specific keywords during this time. Over time, and with new missions developed with unique instrumental configurations, this has created a challenge for spectroscopic applications, which must be written in a complex fashion to recognize, read, and decipher the idiosyncrasies relating to each instrument. Moreover, some HST heritage instruments (GHRS, FOS) have stored different vectors in separate files, requiring their assembly before they can be used. With the advent of the VO and the first generation Simple Spectral Access Protocol (SSAP), it is possible to design a Spectral Container that addresses these issues by serving as a translation layer between the standardized VO protocols and the current FITS file formats. We have constructed SSAP services that point to a secondary data archive holding Spectral Container-packaged files for several MAST (Multi-Mission Archive at Space Telescope) missions. To date, these missions include those for which single-order observations are available: GHRS, FOS, EUVE, HUT, WUPPE, IUE, and STIS. In this poster we discuss the current status and examples of the Container using the Specview and VOSpec applications. We also discuss the need for second-generation VO protocols that will provide for multiple spectra (echelle multi-orders, time-series) within a single Container file.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number13052494
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Record identifier36528841-688d-4217-9e87-e5b8016b9f77
Record created2009-11-25
Record modified2017-06-12
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