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Key NASA Programs and Opportunities to Mitigate Risks of the Challenges. Science Data Systems in the Decadal Survey. Era Workshop, June 25-26, 2009. Stephen Berrick Earth Science Data Systems NASA HQ. Overview of Presentation. NASA ROSES Programs

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key nasa programs and opportunities to mitigate risks of the challenges

Key NASA Programs and Opportunities to Mitigate Risks of the Challenges

Science Data Systems in the Decadal Survey

Era Workshop, June 25-26, 2009

Stephen Berrick

Earth Science Data Systems


overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation
  • NASA ROSES Programs
  • Role of NASA Programs in Technology Infusion
  • Applied Information Systems Research (AISR)
  • Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST)
  • Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS)
  • Other Technology Opportunities
nasa roses programs

NASA’s Earth Science approach for continually evolving data systems is through a competitive NASA Research Announcement (NRA) entitled “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES)”

ROSES contains many program elements, but technology infusion into Earth science data systems generally involves the leveraging existing technologies and methodologies and maturing them through one or more these elements (depending upon the starting TRL):

  • Applied Information Systems Research (AISR)
  • Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST)
  • Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS)

These programs are centered on technologies and methodologies that serve the research and applied science communities (they are not about technology for technology’s sake).

role of nasa programs in technology infusion
Role of NASA Programs in Technology Infusion



Technology Maturity





ES Data Systems


TRL = Technology Readiness Level

applied information systems research aisr
Applied Information Systems Research (AISR)

The AISR Program is …

A program to exploit advances in computer science and technology to increase productivity of research endeavors sponsored by Science Mission Directorate (SMD)

  • Specific Goals:
    • Investigate novel information technologies and computational methods that have the potential to increase productivity and extend the state-of-the-practice
    • Demonstrate the degree of relevance, applicability, and potential impact of emerging information technologies to SMD missions and programs
    • Foster interdisciplinary collaborations that span the space science, Earth science, and computer science disciplines
  • Notional Areas of Interest:
    • Data/information synthesis and intelligent knowledge capture
    • Computational methods and algorithms for scientific analysis and discovery
    • Multi-dimensional data representation, visualization, and comparison
    • Distributed collaborative frameworks
    • Autonomous operations and onboard science autonomy
advanced information systems technology aist
Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST)

The AIST Program is …

The development and advancement of the end-to-end hardware and software systems to support and enable NASA’s extraordinarily data-intensive Earth science measurements.

AIST has three primary objectives:

  • Reduce risk, cost, size, and development time of space and ground based IS
  • Increase access to and use of Earth science data
  • Enable new Earth observation measurements, measurement methods, and information products

AIST projects have experienced substantial successes:

  • Over 50% of AIST projects have been infused into NASA missions or projects
  • Over 92% of AIST projects have advanced at least one TRL
  • Several AIST projects have been recognized with prestigious awards, such as the NASA Software of the Year Award and the R&D 100 Award
advanced information systems technology aist7
Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST)

AIST technologies are providing increased access to, and improved interrogation of, Earth science data through services designed for a wide range of users.

AIST technologies are managing remote sensing resources and data in order to create fully interoperable systems and provide feedback loops for new, improved observations.

AIST technologies are creating new ways to improve, visualize, combine, extract and understand complex and ever-expanding Earth science data returns.

AIST technologies are ensuring rapid, robust, error-free data transfer and exchange across and among disparate space- and ground-based systems.

AIST technologies are helping make observations more useful, more autonomous, more timely, and more efficient while also preserving the lifetimes (cost) of valuable instruments and sensors.

advanced information systems technology aist8
Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST)

Since 1999,AIST has released and funded 5 solicitations:

Technology Portfolio available at

advancing collaborative connections for earth system science access
Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS)

The ACCESS Program is …

The innovative infusion of mature and promising technologies into current data systems infrastructure. ACCESS seeks to advance research and applied Earth science goals by enhancing and extending collaborative connections, and increasing the use and reuse of existing data and services.

  • Emphasizes augmenting current NASA data system components by leveraging proven technologies that bridge specific gaps
  • Focuses on technologies with high TRL to lower risk, generally 7 or higher
  • Encourages targeted solutions to solve current data access and usability issues while providing flexibility for future capabilities.
  • Owing to the rapid nature of technology evolution, ACCESS projects are no more than 2 years
  • Mandatory participation in the ESDSWG
  • Must address a science focus area:
  • Climate variability and change
  • Water and energy cycle
  • Carbon cycle and ecosystems
  • Atmospheric composition
  • Earth surface and interior
  • Weather
advancing collaborative connections for earth system science access10
Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS)

Since 2005,ACCESS has released and funded 4 solicitations:

semantic web technology peter fox pi joint esto access 2005

Science data

Science data



Semantic Web Technology, Peter Fox, PI, Joint ESTO/ACCESS 2005
  • Objective
  • Integrate information technology in support of advancing measurement-based processing systems for NASA, by integrating existing diverse science discipline and mission-specific data sources.
  • This vision will be achieved using a set of technologies that feature rich semantics, that is, the precise meaning of a quantity or entity, e.g. a variable in a dataset, its units, a physical feature or phenomenon in the Earth system, how it may relate to other entities, its quality and lineage, etc.
  • Decadal Survey Mission: AIRS, Aura/MLS → ACE, others
  • Approach
  • Evolve the existing Earth Science (SWEET) ontology
  • Apply a registry supported by an extended Geosciences Network (GEON) ontology
  • Enable a range of semantically-based data services (such as data mining, validation, data integration, etc.)
  • Submit the ontology for review through the Standards and Processes Data Systems Working Group
  • Demonstrate SWEET, GEON, Network Data Access (OPeNDAP) and Virtual Observatory technologies

Key Milestones

  • Plate tectonics ontology workshop, merge 12/06
  • Atmospheric ontology mapping, map databases 06/07
  • Publish ontologies, develop SESDI connector 12/07
  • Demonstrate data integration via statistical application, generalize to solar irradiance domain/data 06/08
  • Demonstrate generalized data integration 12/08
  • Demonstrate registration of data to ontologies 06/09


Co-I’s: Rob Raskin/JPL, Krishna Sinha (Virginia Polytechnic)

Partners: Deborah McGuinness/RPI

TRLin = 6 TRLcurrent=8

advancing collaborative connections for earth system science access12
Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS)

Other technologies that ACCESS can leverage for supporting the Decadal Survey missions:

  • Cloud/Grid/Utility Computing
  • Social networking tools (e.g. Wikis, social tagging and bookmarking, Twitter)
  • Data mining, knowledge mining
  • Leveraging technologies from industry (e.g. Google, Amazon)
  • Leveraging technologies from other fields (e.g. bioinformatics, particle physics community [e.g. LHC])
  • What else ???? We need your input.
other technology opportunities
Other Technology Opportunities


  • The Earth Science Data System Working Groups (ESDSWG) offers the opportunity to participate in making recommendations for improving EOSDIS.
  • Forum for exchanging ideas through four working groups: Technology Infusion, Standards Processes, Software Reuse, Metrics Planning and Reporting
  • Opportunities for active engagement with user communities
  • Annual meetings to address community issues and exchange ideas with peers
other technology opportunities14
Other Technology Opportunities

ESIP Federation (

  • The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is a unique consortium of more than 110 organizations that collect, interpret and develop applications for remotely sensed Earth observation information. Included in the ESIP network are NASA, NOAA and USGS data centers, research universities, government research laboratories, supercomputing facilities, education resource providers, information technology innovators, nonprofit organizations and commercial enterprises.
  • The consortium's work is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date, science-based information to researchers and decision-makers who are working to understand and address the environmental, economic and social challenges facing our planet.
  • The Federation's network fosters collaboration and innovation. It brings together partners to develop models and tools that make Earth observation information more useful and accessible across many different communities.
  • Gathers information on individual agency funding opportunities and distributes to membership
  • Regular meetings with working group and cluster meetings, technology demonstrations, and opportunities to discuss and exchange ideas with others
earth science datacasting andrew bingham pi access 2005
Earth Science Datacasting, Andrew Bingham, PI, ACCESS 2005

Datacasting is an RSS-based technology for seamlessly disseminating information across the globe to those passionate about the Earth Sciences. With Datacasting, data providers can reach untold numbers of users using standards compliant technology.