Talk:NSF Requirements

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

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This discussion page contains responses and comments on the 'Proposal must cover' topics stated in the NSF Solicitation.

1. Team includes information scientists and environmental researchers from two of four areas: ecology, ocean science, atmospheric science, environmental engineering

  • Unidata certainly has applied information scientists that can contribute to the effort, but we do not have researchers in that area in the sense of individuals who publish regularly in the information science literature. Ben
  • The Information Science in the team is covered through Prof. Ken Goldman in the CompSci department at WashU. His main research is in distributed computing, most recently ' Shared Computing Infrastructure for Survivable and Evolvable Distributed Applications'. A nice topic for the distributed With the applied information scientist at your shop and ours, and Ken Goldman, I think we are covered on the IT science/application area. The Atmospheric Science and Environmental Engineering is covered with the CAPITA air pollution group that is Atmospheric Science and Engineering as well as through the connected air quality projects. rhusar

2. Develop & deploy a prototype observatory as a component of cyberinfrastructure

  • This should be done at WUSTL CAPITA but we could definitely provide support to help you integrated the relevant Unidata components. Ben
  • Yes, the prototype observatory will be the DataFed air quality data sharing system. The vital links to Unidata will be through the

(1) access to Met data through THREDDS

(2) standardisation of data flow interfaces, e.g. GALEON II the sequel

(3) transferring Unidata experience in community building (vague...need to refine it)rhusar

3. Identify one+ information infrastructure technology issues for the observatory and describes how these will be addressed by the project

  • One key IIT issue we are working on it interoperability between the data systems of the atmospheric science and those of GIS. Another is real-time access to air quality data. A third is coupled atmospheric and plume dispersion models. We have tools that can be used in the first two. In the third area, someone else would have to be the dispersion experts but we can provide real-time access to the weather forecast model output Ben
  • The IIT topics that CAPITA is pursuing and contributing are:

(1) Tools and procedures for wrapping existing air quality data into standard web-accessible resources.

(2) Develop and mediate data transformation and caching services that make existing data analyst-friendly

(3) Develop and demonstrate data analyses tools built on loosely coupled web services rhusar

4. Identify one+ compelling environmental research questions and through a prototype demonstrate the benefits IIT for solving the questions

  • We have two air quality use cases in mind that would be significantly enhanced by a prototype observatory:

(1) Smoke events mixed with urban-industrial emissions, such as occurring over the Eastern US - also relevant to air quality management

(2) Intercontinental air pollutant transport - e.g. Asian dust, some and pollution to N America

Both use cases involve real-time as well as post-analysis with with significant publishable research contributions. [Do we even propose extending these to smoke/intercontinental climatologies?] rhusar

5. Demonstrates the prototype utility to outside users; attract and include general users

  • I believe many members of the Unidata community would be interested in this prototype. We already have a large community of users a regular newsletter and a governing structure with a users committee and a policy committee that meet twice a year each. We would report on the prototype at these meetings and solicit input from all those groups.
  • College and university site surveys conducted in 2001 and 2002 showed the significance of Unidata's impact in the educational community:
    • Over 21,000 students per year use Unidata tools and data in classrooms and labs.
    • More than 1,800 faculty and research staff use Unidata products in teaching and research.
    • Unidata-connected university programs influence over 40,000 K-12 students.
    • Nearly 900 teacher-training participants have used Unidata software.
    • Unidata-based weather web sites at colleges and universities have over 400,000 hits per day.
    • 404 participants at Unidata workshops during the previous 5 years period. Ben
  • The air quality community that will use the system - extension of current DataFed users

Federal agencies - EPA aq management State and Regional agencies rhusar

6.Leverage existing cyberinfrastructure developments, e.g. ITR, NMI or SEIII programs

  • We consider Unidata one of the earliest examples of successful cyberinfrastructure and this project could leverage our IDD/LDM (NSF ATM) technologies, our THREDDS Data Server (THREDDS was sponsored by NSF NSDL) and our work with dynamically steered high res local forecast models from LEAD (NSF ITR). Ben
  • This project is a continuation and extension of a sequence of phased air quality cyberinfrastructure projects at CAPITA: NSF ITR project (2001-4), NASA Reason Project (2004-9), Numerous smaller EPA/State projects.

AQO will also leverage some of the tools and experiences from the NSF-supported astronomical Virtual Observatory (e.g. VOTable, SkyQuery). Any other observatory to be leveraged? rhusar

7. Identify IT gaps and how it will be filled in the prototype observatory

  • I can't figure out what the differenece is between these IT gaps and the IIT gaps above. Are not IIT issues one form of IT issue? Ben
  • web service interoperability - service semantics, service description/matching beyond WSDL and SOAP enveope.. rhusar

8. Pursue end-to-end approach to a component of cyberinfrastructure

9. Advance the technological capabilities of the environmental research community

  • Connecting AQ data providers with decision makers:

Federal, State, Academic .. will fill this out later rhusar

  • The actual integration would have to be done at CAPITA but you could consider an end to end system of the sort depicted in

with a dispersion model connected to the output of the weather forecast model. Of course other parts of it would have to be adapted but that would be the general idea.

By the way, if you do have a machine with lots of memory and WebStart running, you can actually fire up our IDV and interact directly with the data on THREDDS servers from that web page Ben

10. Use of existing or expected data streams/sets

  • This could make use of many of the Unidata data streams, but it would seem the most important ones would be the output of numerical forecast models (forecast winds and precip, etc.) and radar data (precip purging the atmosphere and perhaps polluting land and strerams) Ben

11. Leads to a flexible prototype, amenable to extension as technology evolves

  • On could cite the Unidata program as a whole adapting over the years from satellite broadcast to Internet data distribution and now our ongoing work in areas like GALEON for evolving international standards. Ben
  • Similarly, the data systems used in AQ evolved from mainframe access (60s) , 'Voyager data browser' (1970s), file-based internet data sharing (80s, 90s) and now convergence with Met and GIS through Service Protocol-based inter-interoperability, a la GALEON, yeah!!. rhusar

12. Project should not create new data or models; should not overlap with existing projects

  • This would be an integration of existing data, data systems and models. It would leverage existing IT infrastructure and make it useful in and entirely new context and a broader community. Ben