Abstract:
The orbits and physical parameters of three detached, double-lined A-F eclipsing binaries have been derived combining H_P, V_T, B_T photometry from the Hipparcos/Tycho mission with 8500-8750 Ang ground-based spectroscopy, mimicking the photometric+spectroscopic observations that should be obtained by GAIA, the approved Cornerstone 6 mission by ESA. This study has two main objectives, namely (a) to derive reasonable orbits for a number of new eclipsing binaries and (b) to evaluate the expected performances by GAIA on eclipsing binaries and the accuracy achievable on the determination of fundamental stellar parameters like masses and radii. It is shown that a 1% precision in the basic stellar parameters can be achieved by GAIA on well observed detached eclipsing binaries provided that the spectroscopic observations are performed at high enough resolution. Other types of eclipsing binaries (including semi-detached and contact types) and different spectral types will be investigated in following papers along this series.

Abstract:
With the large amounts of spectroscopic data available today and the very large surveys to come (e.g. Gaia), the need for automatic data analysis software is unquestionable. We thus developed an automatic spectra analysis program for the determination of stellar parameters: radial velocity, effective temperature, surface gravity, micro-turbulence, metallicity and the elemental abundances of the elements present in the spectral range. Target stars for this software should include all types of stars. The analysis method relies on a line by line comparison of the spectrum of a target star to a library of synthetic spectra. The idea is built on the experience acquired in developing the TGMET (Katz et al. 1998 and Soubiran et al. 2003) ETOILE (Katz 2001) and Abbo (Bonifacio & Caffau 2003) softwares. The method is presented and the performances are illustrated with GIRAFFE-like simulated spectra with high resolution (R = 25000), with high and low signal to noise ratios (down to SNR= 30). These spectra should be close to what could be targeted by the Gaia-ESO Survey (GCDS).

Abstract:
COROT and GAIA are two future major space missions directly connected to most of the stellar astrophysic questions, from stellar physics to evolution of galaxies. We describe a project for the preparation of these two missions by using the possibilities of the ``BaSeL'' models, a library of theoretical stellar energy distributions, to provide automatically the fundamental stellar parameters of the candidate stars. We present the results already obtained for the stars of the COROT main programme.

Abstract:
In this article we summarise on-going work on the so-called Gaia FGK Benchmark Stars. This work consists of the determination of their atmospheric parameters and of the construction of a high-resolution spectral library. The definition of such a set of reference stars has become crucial in the current era of large spectroscopic surveys. Only with homogeneous and well documented stellar parameters can one exploit these surveys consistently and understand the structure and history of the Milky Way and therefore other of galaxies in the Universe.

Abstract:
The BaseL Stellar Library (BaSeL) is a library of synthetic spectra which has already been used in various astrophysical applications (stellar clusters studies, characterization and choice of the COROT potential targets, eclipsing binaries,...). This library could provide useful indications to 1) choose the best photometric system for the GAIA strategy by evaluating their expected performances and 2) apply systematically the BaSeL models for any sample of GAIA targets. In this context, we describe one of the future developments of the BaSeL interactive web site to probe the GAIA photometric data: an automatic determination of atmospheric parameters from observed colours.

Abstract:
The structural and dynamical properties of star clusters are generally derived by means of the comparison between steady-state analytic models and the available observables. With the aim of studying the biases of this approach, we fitted different analytic models to simulated observations obtained from a suite of direct N-body simulations of star clusters in different stages of their evolution and under different levels of tidal stress to derive mass, mass function and degree of anisotropy. We find that masses can be under/over-estimated up to 50% depending on the degree of relaxation reached by the cluster, the available range of observed masses and distances of radial velocity measures from the cluster center and the strength of the tidal field. The mass function slope appears to be better constrainable and less sensitive to model inadequacies unless strongly dynamically evolved clusters and a non-optimal location of the measured luminosity function are considered. The degree and the characteristics of the anisotropy developed in the N-body simulations are not adequately reproduced by popular analytic models and can be detected only if accurate proper motions are available. We show how to reduce the uncertainties in the mass, mass-function and anisotropy estimation and provide predictions for the improvements expected when Gaia proper motions will be available in the near future.

Abstract:
I introduce an algorithm for estimating parameters from multidimensional data based on forward modelling. In contrast to many machine learning approaches it avoids fitting an inverse model and the problems associated with this. The algorithm makes explicit use of the sensitivities of the data to the parameters, with the goal of better treating parameters which only have a weak impact on the data. The forward modelling approach provides uncertainty (full covariance) estimates in the predicted parameters as well as a goodness-of-fit for observations. I demonstrate the algorithm, ILIUM, with the estimation of stellar astrophysical parameters (APs) from simulations of the low resolution spectrophotometry to be obtained by Gaia. The AP accuracy is competitive with that obtained by a support vector machine. For example, for zero extinction stars covering a wide range of metallicity, surface gravity and temperature, ILIUM can estimate Teff to an accuracy of 0.3% at G=15 and to 4% for (lower signal-to-noise ratio) spectra at G=20. [Fe/H] and logg can be estimated to accuracies of 0.1-0.4dex for stars with G<=18.5. If extinction varies a priori over a wide range (Av=0-10mag), then Teff and Av can be estimated quite accurately (3-4% and 0.1-0.2mag respectively at G=15), but there is a strong and ubiquitous degeneracy in these parameters which limits our ability to estimate either accurately at faint magnitudes. Using the forward model we can map these degeneracies (in advance), and thus provide a complete probability distribution over solutions. (Abridged)

Abstract:
Stellar rotation influences our understanding of stellar structure and evolution, binary systems, clusters etc. and therefore the benefits of a large and highly accurate database on stellar rotation, obtained by GAIA, will be manifold. To study the prospects of GAIA measurement of projected rotational velocities v_rot sin i, we use synthetic stellar spectra to simulate the determination of v_rot sin i at different resolutions (R=5000 - 20000) and S/N (10-300). Results on the accuracy of v_rot sin i, presented here, show that GAIA will be capable to measure also low rotational velocities (~10 km/s), provided that the resolution is higher than 10.000, or preferably even higher.

Abstract:
The Gaia-ESO Survey (GES) is a large public spectroscopic survey at the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope. A key aim is to provide precise radial velocities (RVs) and projected equatorial velocities (v sin i) for representative samples of Galactic stars, that will complement information obtained by the Gaia astrometry satellite. We present an analysis to empirically quantify the size and distribution of uncertainties in RV and v sin i using spectra from repeated exposures of the same stars. We show that the uncertainties vary as simple scaling functions of signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and v sin i, that the uncertainties become larger with increasing photospheric temperature, but that the dependence on stellar gravity, metallicity and age is weak. The underlying uncertainty distributions have extended tails that are better represented by Student's t-distributions than by normal distributions. Parametrised results are provided, that enable estimates of the RV precision for almost all GES measurements, and estimates of the v sin i precision for stars in young clusters, as a function of S/N, v sin i and stellar temperature. The precision of individual high S/N GES RV measurements is 0.22-0.26 km/s, dependent on instrumental configuration.

Abstract:
GAIA observations of eclipsing binary stars will have a large impact on stellar astrophysics. Accurate parameters, including absolute masses and sizes will be derived for $\sim 10^4$ systems, orders of magnitude more than what has ever been done from the ground. Observations of 18 real systems in the GAIA-like mode as well as with devoted ground-based campaigns are used to assess binary recognition techniques, orbital period determination, accuracy of derived fundamental parameters and the need to automate the whole reduction and interpretation process.