Big Data Challenges with ICESat-2

Monday, 15 December 2014
Ronald L S Weaver, Steve Tanner, Douglas K Fowler, Mike Stowe and Anthony Veale, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO, United States
NASA’S Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellie-2 (ICESat-2) will be launching in 2017 and will quickly begin generating an enormous amount of data. Close to a terabyte (TB) of data a day will be associated with the satellite’s Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) instrument. This data will be archived and made available for the public at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) located at the University of Colorado in Boulder. NSIDC houses one of NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) and is focused on cryospheric data and research.

Preparations are underway at the NSIDC, ICESat-2 Ground Systems, the Science Investigator-led Processing System (SIPS), and the Goddard Space Flight Center to ensure that there are capabilities in place to deal with the enormous size of this new data and associated data products. This includes looking into new hardware capabilities, transfer protocols, and processes for dealing with both normal operations and with unexpected interruptions, data processing issues and other mishaps. This poster presents some of these preparations, tests and findings thus far in the ICESat-2 development process.