VOTECH: Virtual Observatory Technology

VOTECH was the first project implementing the concept of the Euro-VO Technology Centre (Euro-VOTC), as part of the European Virtual Observatory (Euro-VO). The home page of the Euro-VO is here, and the home page of Euro-VOTC is here. These web pages serve as an information repository specifically for the VOTECH project, providing links to the delivered technical reports as well as downloads of the software developed during the project. The final conclusion of the project is summarised in this document, the Euro-VO Reference Architecture

General Information

The VOTECH project began in 2005 and completed in June 2009. It was funded by the European Commission under Framework Programme 6 as a Design Study, aimed at completing the technical preparation needed for the construction of the Euro-VO. The original proposal, all the annual reports of the project, and a list of project deliverables can be found in the Reports section. The institutions involved can be found in the Partners section For any questions regarding the project itself refer to the Contacts page, where you will also find a complete list of the VOTECH Team.

Structure of Project

The VOTECH project had six workpackages, each formally designated a "Design Study (DS)". DS1 and DS2 were actually workpackages for consortium management and technical co-ordination. The substantive design study areas were :
  • DS3 : New Infrastructure. The goals of DS3 were to design mature infrastructure components for Euro-VO, assess key new infrastructural technologies, and to ensure interoperability and international integration
  • DS4 : New User Tools. The goal of DS4 was to design and prototype new VO-compliant end-user tools.
  • DS5 : Intelligent Resource Discovery. The goals of DS5 were to assess technologies relevant to astronomical resource discovery, design new infrastructural components using these technologies, and produce trial implementations of these new components
  • DS6 : Data Exploration. The goals of DS6 included assessment of data mining and visualization algorithms and packages, determining how to enable them as distributed services, making them VO compliant, and assessing how they can be extended to run on extremely large astronomical datasets.

VOTECH was a distributed project (see the Partners Section. We worked in six month "Stages" where each partner had fairly well defined goals. Every six months the entire project, developers, scientists, and management, met for a whole week at a different member institution.  These meetings included software demonstrations, progress reports, future planning and goals, and one or more days of hands on collaboration known as the "hack-a-thon".  These twice-yearly meetings continue as the "Euro-VO Technical Forum".

Technical Reports

The project delivered a series of technical reports, summarising the work undertaken by each Design Study team, and also making technical recommendations. As well as reports specific to each Design Study, the final product of the project was the Euro-VO Reference Architecture : this is an overall summary of the conceptual and technical structure of the Euro-VO, together with a set of recommendations for its technical implementation. All of these reports, together with a list of other publications produced by the VOTECH team, are provided in the Reports Section.


The VOTECH project delivered a sequence of software prototypes, including both user tools and infrastructure software components, which we make available here. Note however that most of the software is still in active development so the installation binaries and executables provided through this website are static snapshots that were taken at the close of the project.  There is no easy way to provide a complete software repository due to the distributed nature of the development organisations and since development of some software is still ongoing.  In order to obtain source code or the latest version of any software developed during the VOTECH project you will need to contact the developers directly.  To see the list of software downloads available and the links to their developers click here.

Project Wiki

Due to the distributed nature of the project and the partners involved a wiki was setup to facilitate both documentation and communications.  This wiki contains the full breadth of information about the VOTECH project and includes technical documents, organizational documents, past meeting details and times, and a large of amount of other information generated and collected over the course of the project.  The wiki was frozen at the completion of VOTECH so as to preserve the information in a useable state for future Euro-VO projects to utilize.  The wiki can be visited by clicking here.


VOTECH website is hosted at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh  -  last updated: 09-Nov-2009