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Data System Name: Remote Sensing Information Gateway (RSIG)
Data System URL:
Contact Person: Heidi Paulsen
Contact e-mail:


About the Data System (Purposes, Audience)

[[About::The RSIG applet allows users to interactively specify, visualize, and save a subset of meteorological and air-quality data from a variety of sources including:

  • Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO). Added in March 2012: Level-2 5km Aerosol and Cloud Profiles
  • NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data. Added in March 2012: Level-2 10km "Deep Blue" Aerosol Optical Depth (over sand / high-reflectance)
  • AIRNow data via the AIRNow Gateway
  • Air Quality System (AQS) data via the Air Quality Data Mart
  • EPA's Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model output for 2002
  • National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) biomass burning data
  • UVNet
  • Ozone and PM2.5 Statistical Fused Air and Deposition Surfaces (SFADS) datasets originating from the US EPA Landscape Characterization Branch
  • MOZAIC (Measurements of OZone, water vapour, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides by in-service AIrbus airCraft) - European-based global commercial aircraft flight measured ozone, CO, NO data (currently under restricted access pending an agreement between EPA and European scientists)
  • Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-GOES EAST Aerosol/Smoke Product (GASP)

Data subsets are interactively specified by user-selected variable,time-range and lon-lat box and quickly displayed together over a map and animated over time.

Images and data may be saved on the user's computer in a variety of formats -- including PNG, MPEG, KMZ, ASCII, XDR, NetCDF, HDF, and GeoTIFF RGB format and 32-bit float format -- for later analysis and integration with other applications.

The RSIG applet accesses a set of remote OGC-WCS web server applications also developed at EPA and installed at the remote sites that store the data. By operating at the source, these servers and associated subset programs enable fast and convenient streaming of data subsets across the network to achieve an impressive response of about a minute per day's worth of data. (Other applications, such as AirQuest, also benefit by utilizing these powerful server programs.) See also Remote Sensing Information Gateway (RSIG)]]






List of Publications, Papers, Presentations

[[DataSystemRef::RSIG Brochure]]

Data System Scope

Data Content

Datasets Served

[[DataSystemDataSets::* AIRNow ground stations hourly Ozone and PM2.5 measurements. North America, 2003-present.

  • AQS ground stations hourly and aggregated Ozone and PM2.5 measurements. North America, 1995-present. Data available: SO2, Temperature and Relative Humidity
  • Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data is spatially aggregated and uses a new NASA-designed colormap resulting in a much clearer depiction of the data. Note this aggregating is only done during visualization. During regridding and saving, the data is at the original full resolution.
  • NESDIS Biomass Burning surface point values of PM2.5, CH4, CO2, CO, N2O, NH3, NOx, SO2, TNMHC. Currently selected week events in August 2005, July 2006, October 2007.
  • NASA MODIS-4/6/7 satellite surface-integrated data including: Aerosol Optical Depth, Cloud Optical Thickness, Ozone, Pressure, Temperature, etc. Global 2000-present. Access to newest version (April 2010 collection 5.1) MODIS L2 data.
  • Entire 2002 CMAQ model output can be visualized and downloaded, including computed Aerosol Optical Depth values.
  • UVNet: Twenty-two ground stations in the US measuring Irradiance (W/m2) and UVBio "sunburn" (W/m2), 1996 through June 2004.
  • Statistical Fused Air and Deposition Surfaces: A space-time Bayesian fusion model is used to provide daily, gridded predictive PM2.5 (daily average) and O3 (daily 8-hr maximum) surfaces for 2001-2005.
  • MOZAIC (Measurements of OZone, water vapour, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides by in-service AIrbus airCraft) [ European-based global commercial aircraft flight measured ozone, CO, NO data (currently under restricted access pending an agreement between EPA and European scientists).
  • Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-GOES EAST Aerosol/Smoke Product (GASP) - US-coverage satellite 4km Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) data.


See above

Spatial - Temporal Coverage

Varies by dataset.



Not Given

Forecasting and Reanalysis

Not Given

Model/Emissions Evaluation

Not Given

Characterization, Trends, Accountability

Not Given


Not Given

Data System IT

Primary/Official Store for Some data

No. RSIG generally accesses data from other sources (and subsets it at the source).

Data Consolidation/integration

Yes. RSIG visualizes data together over a map. RSIG can regrid all surface data points onto the CMAQ grid (layer 1). RSIG does not regrid data (e.g., CALIPSO LIDAR) onto the CMAQ vertical grid layers due to unresolved difficulties with the vertical grid scheme used by CMAQ.

Providing Data Access to users/externals

Yes. RSIG integrates incoming proprietary dataset formats into standard formats the user can save to their PC. A user can save the data or visualization--or both--to their local computer in such standard formats as portable binary, ASCII, NetCDF, binary XDR, and MPEG. The user can then export the selected datasets from RSIG into other applications--such as GIS tools--for further analysis. Also, developers can bypass the Java client totally by using OGC-WCS/WMS-compliant server scripts to programmatically capture RSIG-subsetted data for use in their applications. Includes numerous CMAQ conveniences: enables comparison (difference, absolute difference, percent difference, ratio, after regridding) of Ozone, AOD, PM25 from MODIS, FAQSD, GASP, MOZAIC, Airnow and AQS to CMAQ; displays intersection of CALIPSO and MOZAIC 4D path in CMAQ grid (that is, extract CMAQ data for each lon-lat-elevation-time of the other data).

Data Processing

Yes. RSIG does subsetting, reformatting, conversion, and augmenting of data to facilitate visualization and subsequent analysis with other datasets. Examples include: aggregating across multiple files covering the user-specified date/time range, subsetting to a lon-lat box, striding over dense data points for fast visualization rasterization, decoding integer data to reals, lossless compression/decompression to speed-up transfer over the network, units conversion to SI and model-common units, data reordering to match model-common conventions such as ground-up, augmentation with longitude, latitude and elevation for each data value, and projecting and aggregating into model grid cells.


Yes. RSIG provides a simple and quick interactive visualization of all data overlaid together on an appropriate map.

Decision Support (e.g. some integration into user business process)

Not presently. There are plans to enable RSIG to launch other applications such as HB/MCMC and visualize their results. Also, external applications such as AirQuest can utilize RSIG's WCS servers.

End-to-End Integration

Not presently. There are plans for HB/MCMC launch and visualize.

Other DS Values

The primary value-added strengths of RSIG are its ease of use, performance and user-driven custom features.

Data Access and/or Output Interoperability

RSIG uses Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) standards for specifying data subsets and a supports a variety of standard output formats (ASCII, NetCDF, KMZ, etc.) requested by users to enable data to be saved and input into other applications.

Reusable Tools and Methods

RSIG components include an applet and set of documented WCS server applications and powerful subset and converter programs - all of which are freely available and accessible by others. This applet/server/subset method will be updated as needed to access additional data as requested by users and prioritized by the Principal Investigator.

Security Barriers and Solutions

Access outside the EPA is being addressed by installing the WCS servers and downloadable applet on the EPA Portal. This requires an EPA firewall modification to allow http-80 access from external computers to an internal computer used for visualization.

User Feedback Approach

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jim Szykman (757) 864-2709. Please send all questions and comments to Jim Szykman or Heidi Paulsen.

Other Architecture

Not Given

User Provided Content