Cross Match algorithm for Gaia ESA mission

DAPCOM awarded contract to study and implement a Cross Match algorithm for GAIA.
DAPCOM has been awarded by ESA a key contract to study and implement a Cross Match algorithm for the GAIA IDU system. Gaia is ESA’s next-generation space astrometry mission launched in December of 2013.

Intermediate Data Updating (IDU) is the system within the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) that has to improve the results provided by the Initial Data Treatment (IDT) process. IDU will refine the image parameters and the cross-matching for all the detections using the latest and most accurate calibrations, satellite attitude and source catalogues available at the time. By the end of the mission these are expected to contain more than one billion stars and other astronomical objects. Unlike IDT, the IDU XM process will treat all the accumulated observations together, and can therefore perform a scientifically better processing than IDT. Also, the IDU XM will be able to use the best astrometric source parameters, satellite attitude and calibrations provided by the Astrometric Global Iterative Solution (AGIS) and other systems. IDU will run at the Data Processing Center of Barcelona (DPCB) using BSC computing resources (specifically the MareNostrum supercomputer).

DAPCOM will be in charge to study, implement and integrate a XM algorithm for IDU that is able to determine and use the updated sky coordinates derived from the on-board detection of the astrometric observations using the latest attitude and calibrations, providing a single valid link for each observation. The final algorithm will provide, under nominal instrument operation and simulated sky, for all the observations of single stellar sources in non-crowded regions, a perfect match to their sources.

HST image credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Gaia image credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC/UB/IEEC