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Proceedings Paper

The Simple Spectral Access protocol
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Paper Abstract

The goal of the Simple Spectral Access (SSA) specification is to define a uniform interface to spectral data including spectral energy distributions (SEDs), 1D spectra, and time series data. In contrast to 2D images, spectra are stored in a wide variety of formats and there is no widely used standard in astronomy for representing spectral data, hence part of the challenge of specifying SSA was defining a general spectrophotometric data model as well as definitions of standard serializations in a variety of data formats including XML and FITS. Access is provided to both atlas (pre-computed) data and to virtual data which is computed on demand. The term simple in Simple Spectrum Access refers to the design goal of simplicity in both implementing spectral data services and in retrieving spectroscopic data from distributed data collections. SSA is a product of the data access layer (DAL) working group of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). The requirements were derived from a survey among spectral data providers and data consumers and were further refined in a broad discussion in meetings and electronic forums as well as by prototyping efforts within the European Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) and the US National Virtual Observatory (NVO).

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2004
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5493, Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies, (16 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.553167
Show Author Affiliations
Markus Dolensky, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Doug Tody, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5493:
Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies
Peter J. Quinn; Alan Bridger, Editor(s)

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