LESIA Observatoire de Paris-PSL CNRS vopdc cdpp Sorbonne Université cnes Université de Paris

Virtual Observatory

Friday 3 July 2015, by Baptiste Cecconi

Many Virtual Observatory (VO) standards are used in MASER services. We present here their descriptions and links to online resources.


The IVOA (International Virtual Observatory Alliance) is a group of teams working on interoperable standards for astronomy. Some of those standards are perfectly adapted for planetary and solar sciences. The following list shows the IVOA standards used in MASER services.

  • SAMP (Simple Application Messaging Protocol): This protocol enables a very easy way to share data between tools. It has been built as an thematically agnostic tool, so that it has been very easy to reuse in other contexts than the astronophysical VO, such as planetary sciences or heliophysics. Javascript libraries (such as jsamp) are available to set up SAMP data sharing from a web page.
  • VOTable (Virtual Observatory Table): This standard is a tabular data file standard in XML. It contains a header section for metadata and a data section (using HTML-like table representation). Each metadata in the header can have several attributes (type, unit, id, size, value...). Grouping and referencing (inside the file) metadata are also permitted. This standard is now used in a larger scope than astronomy.
  • TAP (Table Access Protocol)
  • Registry
  • UCD (Unified Content Descriptor)
  • UWS (Universal Worker Service)


SPASE (Space Physics Archive Search and Extract) is a consortium lead by Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC/NASA). The SPASE group is building interoperable standards for Space Physics observations, including all the data description and distribution chain: physical parameters, datasets, instruments, observatories, targets and regions, repositories, individuals, teams...

  • SPASE registry
  • CDF (Common Data Format)


  • SPASE/IMPEx SimulationRun
  • IMPEx WebServices


  • Workflows