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Division of Astronomical Sciences

Management and Operation of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

This program has been archived.


Name Email Phone Room
Nigel  Sharp (703) 292-4905  1045 S  


Solicitation  08-537

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 17-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




Proposals are solicited to manage and operate the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The Virtual Astronomical Observatory will serve to link a multitude of astronomical data sets into an integrated system that allows automated search and analysis among all cataloged objects. The VAO will provide access to data sets, create and maintain data protocols and standards, and provide analysis tools and services to the astronomical research and educational community. The VAO is expected to act as an enabling and coordinating structure to facilitate the development of tools, protocols, and collaborations necessary to utilize fully the scientific potential of current and future astronomical data.

Any implementation of the VAO and its ongoing operation will build on the framework for virtual observatories being developed by the U.S. National Virtual Observatory (NVO) project and the NASA astrophysics data centers, within the international context provided by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). Any proposed implementation of the VAO must utilize the IVOA and NVO established standards and protocols for unified content descriptors, catalog, data and database access, data models, and documents. NVO tools and services should be incorporated in any proposed implementation of the VAO. Proposals must include a transition plan describing how the framework established by the NVO project and its current activities will be continued and evolve into the proposed management structure and long-term operations of the VAO.

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program