Developing Metadata Requirements for NASA Airborne Field Campaigns

Monday, 15 December 2014
Lindsay Parker1, Pamela Livingstone Rinsland2, John Kusterer2, Gao Chen3, Amanda Benson Early1, Aubrey Lee Beach III1, Dali Wang4, Nathan David Typanski4, Matthew Rutherford4 and Elliot Rieflin4, (1)Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Hampton, Hampton, VA, United States, (2)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (3)NASA Langley Research Ctr, Hampton, VA, United States, (4)Christopher Newport University, Computer Science, Newport News, VA, United States
The common definition of metadata is “data about data”. NASA has developed metadata formats to meet the needs of its satellite missions and emerging users. Coverage of satellite missions is highly predictable based on orbit characteristics. Airborne missions feature complicated flight patterns to maximize science return and changes in the instrument suites. More relevant to the airborne science data holding, the metadata describes the airborne measurements, in terms of measurement location, time, platform, and instruments. The metadata organizes the data holdings and facilitates the data ordering process from the DAAC. Therefore, the metadata requirements will need to fit the type of airborne measurements and sampling strategies as well as leverage current Earth Science and Data Information System infrastructure (ECHO/Reverb, GCMD). Current airborne data is generated/produced in a variety of formats (ICARRT, ASCII, etc) with the metadata information embedded in the data file. Special readers are needed to parse data file to generate metadata needed for search and discovery. With loosely defined standards within the airborne community this process poses challenges to the data providers. It is necessary to assess the suitability of current metadata standards, which have been mostly developed for satellite observations. To be presented are the use case-based assessments of the current airborne metadata standards and suggestions for future changes.