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Atomic Database SPECTR-W3 for Plasma Spectroscopy and Other Applications

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-ANU/Atomic and Nuclear Physics/Physics
  • INF-COM/High Performance Computing and Networking/Information and Communications
  • INF-DAT/Data Storage and Peripherals/Information and Communications
  • INF-SIG/Sensors and Signal Processing/Information and Communications
  • INF-SOF/Software/Information and Communications

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Tocheny L V

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk

Supporting institutes

  • Joint Institute for High Temperatures RAS, Russia, Moscow


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory / University of California, USA, CA, Livermore\nUniversita degli studi di Milano-Bicocca / Dipartimento di Fisica "G. Occhialini" and INFM, Italy, Milan\nUniversite de Liege / Institut de Physique Nucleaire, Atomique de Spectroscopie, Belgium, Liege\nGSI, Germany, Darmstadt\nUniversité de Provence / Laboratoire de Physique des Interactions Ioniques et Moleculaires, France, Marseille\nCzech Technical University / Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czechia, Prague

Project summary

Presently, a great demand for reliable atomic data — information on the fundamental properties of electronic structure of atomic systems and related elementary processes — stems from the fact that such properties are responsible for the interactions of matter with electromagnetic radiation and particle beams, being of primary importance for many practical implementations. The relevant data form the basis for upgrading high-resolution diagnostic tools in the studies of high-energy-density physics and astrophysics as well as for the development of ultrabright tabletop sources of x-ray radiation requested by novel technologies of high-precision semiconductor imaging and micromachining, diffractometry, characterization of ultra-fast chemical reactions, cytology, microsurgery, and many other technological and scientific applications.

The objective of the project proposed is to create a qualitatively updated and essentially extended version of the online atomic-data information-reference system on the Web — SPECTR-W3, able to steadily progress in future and better meet growing demands for atomic data from basic and applied research, promising technological developments, and university education programs.

The SPECTR-W3 information-reference system was developed in 2001–2003 due to the implementation of the ISTC Project # 1785 “Online Database on Spectral Properties of Atoms and Ions on the World Wide Web” and realized as an online Web resource based on the factual atomic database (ADB) SPECTR-W3. The SPECTR-W3 site ( has been operating on the Web freely accessible round-the-clock since May 2002. Its homepage was integrated into the family of specialized databases for atomic and plasma physics on the Internet ( Now the SPECTR-W3 Web-resource serves more than 50 visiting sessions per day from universities and research laboratories worldwide as well as from telecommunication companies and inpiduals. A number of experts also use the fully functional local version of the SPECTR-W3 database ― SPECTR-CD created under the ISTC Project # 1785 for the off-line operation on PCs under Windows, the setup package of which is available on the SPECTR-W3 homepage for a non-profit personal use.

The information accumulated in the SPECTR-W3 ADB contains about 450,000 records and includes the experimental and theoretical data on ionization potentials, energy levels, wavelengths, radiation transition probabilities, and oscillator strengths, and the parameters of analytical approximations of electron-collisional cross-sections and rates for atoms and ions. Those data were extracted from publications in physical journals, proceedings of the related conferences, special-purpose publications on atomic data, provided directly by authors and obtained in previous years by the participants of the ISTC Project # 1785. The information is supplied with references to the original sources and comments, elucidating the details of experimental measurements or calculations.

To date, the SPECTR-W3 ADB is still the largest factual database in the world, containing the information on spectral properties of multicharged ions, as exemplified in part by active use of the SPECTR-W3 ADB and SPECTR-CD.

However, time constrains of the ISTC Project # 1785 disabled to fill the SPECTR-W3 ADB with a considerable amount of the selected published data and the results of the spectroscopic calculations performed by the project participants being of potential importance for various applications. At the same time, in the 1.5-year period after the completion of the ISTC Project # 1785, its participants developed new capabilities of systematic calculations of spectroscopic data, cross-sections, and transition rates of atomic processes using both freely distributed and their own atomic codes. Besides that, the project participants routinely perform high-resolution spectroscopic studies of complex multicharged-ion spectra on various laser and accelerator facilities worldwide. Hence, in addition to the selection and processing of the published data, there appear extensive facilities to update the SPECTR-W3 ADB by including the results of new systematic calculations and high-resolution measurements obtained by the participants of the proposed project. New atomic data may also be provided by the other authors interested in publishing their results in the most accessible way.

This brings up a topical need to arrange a process of updating the SPECTR-W3 ADB with new atomic data provided directly by the authors of publications in a convenient unified format. Such a process would enable to reduce the treatment of new publications down to a minimal amount and therefore provide a real capability of the further sustained development of the SPECTR-W3 ADB by the RFNC–VNIITF and SRC VNIIFTRI experts in cooperation with the other interested scientists.

With all these facts considered, more qualitative than quantitative stage of the further development of the SPECTR-W3 information-reference system becomes quite necessary.

Fifteen-year practice of the joint efforts of the project workgroups in the field of plasma spectroscopy, their expertise and extensive experience in experimental and theoretical studies of x-ray plasma diagnostics and atomic physics, development of special-purpose large-scale databases, advanced Web-programming, the technology of data extraction and conversion along with the existing hardware and software of the SPECTR-W3 website, created under ISTC Project # 1785, form a good ground to successfully achieve the objective of the proposed project.

In the course of work under the project proposed:

  • facilities for direct submission of new author’s atomic data will be created and put into operation, a technique of supplementing the SPECTR-W33 ADB with those data will be developed and optimized;
  • SPECTR-W3 ADB and its local version SPECTR-CD will be essentially updated by:
    • the inclusion of new experimental and theoretical information on the multicharged-ion spectra both selected from literature and obtained in the participating organizations under the ISTC Project # 1785;
    • introduction of the new data type on the autoionization-transition rates;
    • inclusion of the results of systematic calculations and high-resolution measurements obtained in the participating organizations as well as presented by the other authors;
    • selection and inclusion of the most important experimental and theoretical data published after 2003;
  • software and equipment of the SPECTR-W3 website will be upgraded;
  • functionality and informative content of the SPECTR-W3 Web-pages will be extended;
  • a new version of the SPECTR-CD setup package will be generated.

The successful pursuance of this cumulative effort will result in achieving the objective of the proposed project. The updated SPECTR-W3 website will continue its free-access round-the-clock operation. As the SPECTR-W3 ADB will still be the world largest factual database on spectral properties of multicharged ions, creation of the new version of the SPECTR-W3 ADB will make an important step towards the expansion of informative capabilities of the family of the special-purpose ADBs on the Internet.

The Project implementation will employ the methodology of processing theoretical and experimental information to create consistent atomic datasets that was developed under the ISTC Project # 1785. That methodology includes the evaluation of accuracy and completeness of such information, assessment for its reliability, unification of the data representation and formats, along with the techniques of recognition, processing, and conversion of the new spectroscopic data extracted from electronic copies of publications.

For appropriate assessment of published data and evaluation of unambiguouty of the complex spectra classification, the project participants will also employ their own (АТОМ, MZ), licensed (GRASP2), and freely distributed (FAC) atomic codes. With those codes, systematic calculations of spectroscopic data, cross-sections and rates of atomic processes will be performed for the follow-on inclusion into the SPECTR-W3 ADB. Processing of data from high-resolution spectroscopic measurements performed by the project participants will be carried out using the available special-purpose tools of x-ray-image analysis and the appropriate software. The unified hypertext (HTML) and plain-text formats will be developed to enable the authors to submit new data.

Implementation of the proposed project will meet one of the basic goals pursued by the ISTC: the team of experts previously engaged in the activities related to the nuclear weapons R&D and military research on powerful laser facilities will be more thoroughly integrated into the international scientific community. The project participants will also acquire real capabilities to sustain their ongoing peaceful scientific activities to maintain and improve the SPECTR-W3 information-reference system on atomic data.

The activities under the Project will be pursued in a close contact with the foreign collaborators of the Project and other participants of international scientific cooperation aimed at the development and use of the family of information-reference resources on atomic data on the Web. The scientific contacts with foreign collaborators will be kept in the form of regular communications through the Internet, joint participation in workshops, seminars, and conferences. The contacts envisage a direct exchange of experimental and calculated data obtained in the participating and collaborating institutions as well as joint activities on the verification of novel experimental and calculated data for the SPECTR-W3 ADB.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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