Architectures Toward Reusable Science Data Systems

Thursday, 18 December 2014
John Firor Moses, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
Science Data Systems (SDS) comprise an important class of data processing systems that support product generation from remote sensors and in-situ observations. These systems enable research into new science data products, replication of experiments and verification of results. NASA has been building ground systems for satellite data processing since the first Earth observing satellites launched and is continuing development of systems to support NASA science research, NOAA’s weather satellites and USGS's Earth observing satellite operations. The basic data processing workflows and scenarios continue to be valid for remote sensor observations research as well as for the complex multi-instrument operational satellite data systems being built today. System functions such as ingest, product generation and distribution need to be configured and performed in a consistent and repeatable way with an emphasis on scalability. This paper will examine the key architectural elements of several NASA satellite data processing systems currently in operation and under development that make them suitable for scaling and reuse. Examples of architectural elements that have become attractive include virtual machine environments, standard data product formats, metadata content and file naming, workflow and job management frameworks, data acquisition, search, and distribution protocols. By highlighting key elements and implementation experience the goal is to recognize architectures that will outlast their original application and be readily adaptable for new applications. Concepts and principles are explored that lead to sound guidance for SDS developers and strategists.