Management and Stewardship of Airborne Observational Data for the NSF/NCAR HIAPER (GV) and NSF/NCAR C-130 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL)

Monday, 15 December 2014
Janine Aquino, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Earth Observing Laboratory, Boulder, CO, United States
The National Science Foundation (NSF) provides the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) funding for the operation, maintenance and upgrade of two research aircraft: the NSF/NCAR High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) Gulfstream V and the NSF/NCAR Hercules C-130. A suite of in-situ and remote sensing airborne instruments housed at the EOL Research Aviation Facility (RAF) provide a basic set of measurements that are typically deployed on most airborne field campaigns. In addition, instruments to address more specific research requirements are provided by collaborating participants from universities, industry, NASA, NOAA or other agencies.

The data collected are an important legacy of these field campaigns. A comprehensive metadata database and integrated cyber-infrastructure, along with a robust data workflow that begins during the field phase and extends to long-term archival (current aircraft data holdings go back to 1967), assures that: all data and associated software are safeguarded throughout the data handling process; community standards of practice for data stewardship and software version control are followed; simple and timely community access to collected data and associated software tools are provided; and the quality of the collected data is preserved, with the ultimate goal of supporting research and the reproducibility of published results.

The components of this data system to be presented include: robust, searchable web access to data holdings; reliable, redundant data storage; web-based tools and scripts for efficient creation, maintenance and update of data holdings; access to supplemental data and documentation; storage of data in standardized data formats; comprehensive metadata collection; mature version control; human-discernable storage practices; and procedures to inform users of changes. In addition, lessons learned, shortcomings, and desired upgrades will be discussed.