Call for Letters of Interest to participate in the preparatory activities for the Gaia archive access
1 March 2011NOTE - The deadline for submissions has passedDear Colleagues,ESA hereby invites groups in Member States, wishing to participate in the preparatory activities for the Gaia archive access working group, to submit a Letter of Interest to ESA outlining their area of expertise and potential contribution.
The deadline for submitting 'Letters of Interest to participate in the preparatory activities for the Gaia archive access' is 15 April 2011.
Gaia is an ESA science mission aiming to determine accurate positions, distances, proper motions, and photometry for some one billion stars in our Galaxy and beyond, with radial velocities for a significant fraction. Comprehensive details are given at the ESA site http://www.rssd.esa.int/Gaia. The launch of Gaia is scheduled for early 2013, with an operational period of 5 years. The final data products can appear only 2-3 years after the end of the operations, but early intermediate releases will be made available to the community as soon as possible.
While ESA funds for the satellite in its entirety, including payload, the data reduction is a task that will be carried out by nationally funded Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) which was selected for the task in 2007. The Announcement of Opportunity (AO) leading to the selection of DPAC had archive access activities excluded explicitly from the call with a statement that the archive access unit will be added later to the selected consortium in full agreement with the consortium (i.e. DPAC).
Preparations toward the archive access unit have been recently started by establishing the Gaia Archive Preparation (GAP) group. The approach to prepare for the DPAC archive access unit is to utilize GAP to bring together scientists and engineers responding to this call for Letters of Interest and already existing relevant DPAC participants to ensure links to the overall data processing efforts currently underway.
The purpose of the present call for Letters of Interest is to select additional members to GAP. While no financial commitment is requested, the respective funding authorities should be informed of the participation and plans. The responses to the present call for Letters of Interest will be evaluated and selected by ESA. Preference is given to responses from groups rather than individuals. Participation to the GAP activities must be funded by the selected groups themselves. The work of GAP will continue for about a year, until a formal AO for DPAC CU9 (Coordination Unit for Archive Access) is issued. After that the GAP activities will be terminated.
The Letter of Interest should be submitted using the form available through the right-hand menu of this web-page. Please provide sufficient details of your interests and planned commitments (possible funding, area of work, existing links to Gaia or major archive initiatives etc.). In order to take these plans into consideration, a response by 15 April 2011 is requested.
Coordinator for Astronomy and Fundamental Physics Missions
Further information may be requested from the Gaia Project Scientist