• MPC Preparation (Info)
  • ADES Data Submission


    Astrometry Data Exchange Standard

    The Astrometry Data Exchange Standard (ADES) is a new data format for astrometry, providing many new features over the current 80-column format. The official format description is on GitHub. See also the reference material Tables of ADES Tags and Structures.

    The ADES describes two representations, XML and PSV. PSV is "Pipe Separated Values", and is similar to comma separated values (CSV) but uses the pipe character, |, rather than a comma to separate data values of a record. For example see this example XML and the equivalent example PSV.

    "Valid" ADES and submissions

    The E in ADES is for Exchange, which means the standard allows for general purpose exchange of data. For the special purpose of submitting new data to the MPC however, there are restrictions on what the general ADES allows. Data may be valid ADES but not valid for submission. In the context of XML, the word "valid" can mean that data validates by a particular schema. We validate submissions by a specific schema, submit.xsd. There is a much larger set of data that may still be valid ADES, but will not validate by submit.xsd.

    Submission procedures


    ADES submissions are accepted through our web server. Submission by web form is at submit_xml for XML and submit_psv for PSV. Those forms also give examples of how a program such as cURL can be used to automate submission through the web server. If you wish to simply check the validity of a submission in XML format, go here; to check the validity of PSV, go here.

    W3C schema validation

    We validate all submissions the W3C schema submit.xsd. We convert PSV submissions to XML for validation. The schema ensures that the basic structure and content of the data follows the standard. In addition, we perform a number of checks on submissions, as we have always done for submissions in the past.

    These conversions, validations, and checks are all done by us. You do not need to perform any of these steps yourself. We will give error messages in the case of any problems.

    Enumerated field values

    A number of ADES fields are specified with lists of allowable values.

    Other restrictions

    Submissions must generally still follow all restrictions of the Guide to Minor Body Astrometry except those specific to the 80-column format.

    The existing Observational Details page has restrictions for specifying observer and measurer names. While the ADES now lists names individually rather than comma separated, the restrictions for the format of individual names still apply for ADES data.

    Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

    Attention was given to removing PII from ADES data. For example, email addresses formerly given on the AC2 header line are now transmitted outside of the ADES data document. A goal is to allow ADES data documents to be placed directly in public archives without modification. Please support this goal by keeping PII out of ADES submissions, including free format fields such as comments and remarks.

    Post-submission processing

    An interim step, as the MPC migrates to the ADES, will be to convert ADES data to the 80-column format for internal processes that require it. The program we use is xmlto80, publicly available on Bitbucket. (Note that this is a step we perform internally — you are not expected to run this program for routine submissions. If you can directly produce ADES or PSV format data, please submit it in that form.)

    After 80-column conversion, a problem with your data may be reported back to you in 80-column format. While the problem report may show your data in the 80-column format, your data is nevertheless still preserved in its original form. Use the 80-column data in the problem report as best you can to understand why your data is being rejected.

    Additional resources at the GitHub repository

    The GitHub repository ADES-Master contains numerous additional ADES resources.

    As described above under "Valid" ADES and submissions, the ADES has more general purpose than just data submission to the MPC. Keep this in mind while reviewing the material in the GitHub repository. Some material describes features and formats that are not acceptable for submissions.

    Additional sample data files are in the tests directory. See test/xml and tests/psv for example.

    ADES-Master also contains utilities for conversion between the various formats. However, there is no need to convert your data for submission. Generally you should submit data in a format your astrometry software emits. Our format preferences are XML, PSV, and 80-column, in that order, but also our preference is that you submit the first of these that meets your needs. Do not run a converter program simply because you think we prefer a different format.

    The README.txt file at ADES-Master is extensive and lists all of the available conversion programs, test scripts, and documentation.


    Use the general MPC feedback form to report problems with the ADES submission process.