VAMDC: The Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre

Walton, Nicholas

Laboratory research groups, located across a range of science domains, produce a vast range of atomic and molecular (AM) data, of critical importance across a diverse range of applications from astrophysics and atmospheric physics to industrial applications such as plasmas and lighting. These A&M resources are highly fragmented, available through a variety of interfaces, thus limiting the full exploitation of their scientific worth, impacting negatively on research programmes from space exploration (e.g. the search for extra solar planets) the study of the earths atmosphere, climate change, fusion programmes, and so forth.

The Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre (VAMDC) (http://www.vamdc.eu) is a major new project creating a secure, documented, flexible and interoperable interface to existing AM data. It is built upon the expertise of AM data producers and service providers, creating an infrastructure that is easily tuned to the requirements of a wide variety of users in academic, governmental, industrial or public communities.

We provide a brief overview of the project, aims and key objectives:

- to implement the VAMDC interface for accessing major existing databases containing heterogeneous data

- to enable large data queries across multiple databases that are focussed on specific research topic(s)

- to enable data publishing/quality control process for major A&M data producers

- to involve wide user and producer communities in development and use of VAMDC

We describe the key infrastructure that is being created during the project lifetime, in particular we note the use and extension of emerging Virtual Observatory standards in exposing AM data and resources. This includes the Table Access Protocol, and the XSAMS (http://xsams.org) extension. We outline the 'year one' VAMDC service release, initially linking a pilot set of resources, demonstrating AM data catalog cross matching.

VAMDC is funded under the EC Seventh Framework Program. Grant Agreement number: 239108.

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