Large wide-field surveys have been carried out since more than a century, starting with the Carte du Ciel in the  late nineteenth century and have been recorded on photographic plates. With the advent of CCD detectors monitoring the Sky became even more intense. Wide field surveys are carried out with small telescopes and cameras. Already with the Henry Draper Memorial project, spectroscopy became an important scientific technique for such surveys, early-on with objective prisms and latterly with multi-fiber instruments . Most of the ongoing surveys are dedicated to specific scientific aims, such as search for MACHOS, exoplanet transits or nearby asteroids, but provide data sets for a wide range of astrophysics research, such as binary light curves, stellar pulsations, and eruptions to name a few. Many future surveys will also be based on small telescopes, both on ground and in space.

The information stored in photographic plates distributed around the globe became accessible only recently, by digitization, calibration and integration into data bases such as DASCH or APPLAUSE.

Because a huge amount of data is piling up in the data bases  of the different projects an important task is to combine the information and harvest it in an optimum way. To this end, the meeting aims to bring together researchers working on the photographic heritage, with those involved in ongoing and future digital surveys. Combing data sets requires in depth knowledge of calibration. Studying the objects requires the sophisticated tools of astroinformatics (big data, deep learning), which shall be addressed in the conference’ program.


  • Past: History, plate archives, spectroscopy, digitization, calibration, catalogs, data bases, VO integration, linkage to modern digital surveys
  • Present: Digital surveys: Telescope (networks), robotic telescopes, photometry, astrometry, spectroscopy, catalogs, reduction and calibration pipelines, data base access, VO integration, AAVSO (amateur collaboration)
  • Future: Ground based optical surveys with small telescopes under developement. Link to space-based surveys,  astroinformatics, big data, machine learning

For contact please send an email to astro-conf2019@lists.fau.de
Offical webpage is http://www.sternwarte.uni-erlangen.de/large-surveys-2019

Conference Dinner

We will have a conference dinner: details coming soon.

For conference participants and registered accompanying persons dinner buffet and standard drinks (soft drinks, beer, wine, tea, coffee) are included in the conference fee. Special drinks like liquor or drinks after dinner will cost extra.

Internet Access

Internet access via WLAN will be available on site. Network SSID and login information will be provided at the beginning of the conference.

Attendees whose home institutions participate in eduroam are strongly encouraged to sign up with their home institution for an eduroam account. This will also allow you to access the Internet at all other eduroam institutions worldwide (see here for a map of all participating institutions) without any further administrative overhead.


Harry Enke (AIP Potsdam), Ulrich Heber (U Erlangen-Nürnberg), Rene Hudec (Ondrejov, CZ), Don Pallacco (U Warwick, UK), Kai Polsterer (HITS, Heidelberg), Jürgen Schmitt (U Hamburg), Matthias Steinmetz (AIP Potsdam), Taavi Tuvikene (Tartu, EST)


Matthias Bissinger, Edith Day, Heinz Edelmann, Ulrich Heber, Andreas Irrgang, Simon Kreuzer, David Schneider