Addressing the Challenges of Satellite and in-Situ Oceanographic Dataset Interoperability at the PO.Daac

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Vardis M Tsontos and Thomas Huang, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
The earth science enterprise increasingly relies on the integration and synthesis of multivariate datasets from diverse observational platforms. NASA’s ocean salinity missions, that include Aquarius/SAC-D and the SPURS (Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study) field campaign, illustrate the value of integrated observations in support of studies of the water cycle, environmental variability and climate. However, the inherent heterogeneity of resulting data and the disparate, distributed systems that serve them complicates their effective utilization for both earth science research and applications. Despite increased availability of oceanographic data online and improved protocols and tools for access, the fundamental problem of unified data access remains an impediment in part because of structural reasons (domain specific data providers) and in part because of specific technical issues. Key technical interoperability challenges include adherence to metadata and data format standards that are particularly acute for in-situ data and the lack of a unified metadata model facilitating archival and integration of both satellite and oceanographic field datasets. Here we report on new efforts at the PO.DAAC, NASA’s physical oceanographic data center responsible for the archival and distribution of the satellite mission data that includes Aquarius, to extend our data management infrastructure to additionally support field campaign datasets such as those from SPURS. Integral to this are plans to develop a generalized data matchup service facilitating the reconciliation of multi-scale data exhibiting heterogeneous sampling geometries in support of mission Cal/Val and oceanographic research.