Tech

July 23, 2012

New NASA supercomputer facility set to advance Earth research

NASA soon will open a new chapter of discovery using enhanced Landsat Earth-observing data in a state-of-the-art, high-performance computing and data access facility called NASA Earth Exchange.

This new facility is a virtual laboratory that will allow scientists to tackle global Earth science challenges with global high-resolution satellite observations.

After extensive development and testing, NASA is making the NEX facility available to the research community for further research and development. With NASA’s state-of-the-art supercomputing capacity, researchers can use NEX to explore and analyze large Earth science data sets in hours rather than months. Scientists can produce complex, interdisciplinary studies of world phenomena and share their findings instantly on the NEX platform.

“Because of the large volume of high-resolution Landsat data, scientists who wanted to study the planet as a whole prior to NEX needed to invest tremendous amounts of time and effort to develop high-end computational methods rather than focus on important scientific problems,” said Tsengdar Lee, high-end computing program manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “NEX greatly simplifies researchers’ access to and analysis of high-resolution data like Landsat.”

This new facility boasts a large collection of global data sets and analysis tools from NASA and other agencies, including surface weather records, topography, soils, land cover and global climate simulations. Using NEX, scientists now can fit Landsat scenes together like a giant jigsaw puzzle to create snapshots of global vegetation patterns containing more than a half-trillion pixels in less than 10 hours. These global vegetation products, referred to as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, complement the more standard products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite but with 10 times higher resolution.

“The science community is under increasing pressure not only to study recent and projected changes in climate that likely impact our global environment and natural resources, but also to design solutions to mitigate, or cope, with the likely impacts,” said Rama Nemani, a senior Earth scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “We want to change the research paradigm by bringing large data holdings and supercomputing capabilities together, so researchers have everything they need in one place.”

Developed by a team at Ames, NEX combines Earth-system modeling, remote-sensing data from NASA and other agencies, and a scientific social networking platform to deliver a complete research environment. Users can explore and analyze large Earth science data sets, run and share modeling algorithms, collaborate on new or existing projects and exchange workflows and results within and among other science communities.

Scientists believe costs and time associated with research development may be reduced significantly by allowing NEX members to collaborate instantly in this type of large-scale supercomputing work environment. For example, NEX may relieve researchers from redundantly retrieving and integrating data sets and building modeling analysis codes.

NEX uses Landsat data, which constitute a large collection of images collected over 40 years by a series of satellite sensors. The enhanced collection of Landsat data gives scientists the opportunity to study and understand changes on a planetary scale, looking at one-quarter acre at a time.

NASA, in cooperation with the Interior Department and its science agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, launched the first Landsat satellite in 1972. The resulting 40-year archive of Earth observations from the Landsat fleet supports the improvement of human and environmental health, biodiversity, energy and water management, urban planning, disaster recovery and crop monitoring. The Landsat program is jointly managed by NASA and the Interior Department.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 28, 2015

News: Panel will propose new military retirement system - The long-awaited report on military compensation set to drop Thursday will propose fundamental changes to military retirement and health care benefits, according to several people familiar with the report. Source: DOD to request $585 billion for fiscal 2016 - The Department of Defense is preparing to submit a...
 
 

News Briefs January 28, 2015

Defense contractor to pay $2 million to settle claims A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento says Sacramento-based Composite Engineering Inc. agreed to pay the money to end allegations that it artificially inflated...
 
 
Navy photograph

USS Roosevelt marks 200,000 trap

Navy photograph An F/A-18F Super Hornet flown by Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, complet...
 

 
Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned

USS California returns from maiden deployment

Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned The Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) returns from its maiden deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London. Under the command of Cmdr. Shawn Huey, Ca...
 
 
Army photograph

Army proves new watercraft capabilities

Army photograph Marine Corps assets are loaded onto the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005), from an U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility, or LCU, USAV Port Hudson during port operations, at White Beach Naval Base, Jan. 22, 2015. Sold...
 
 

Orbital stockholders approve merger with ATK’s aerospace, defense groups

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Jan. 27 that at a special meeting, the company’s stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc., pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99 percent of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>