TOPS: Extending access to NASA data and model results for ecosystem studies

Related Research Areas
Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems, Climate Variability & Change, Water & Energy Cycles, Weather
Project Description
The Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS)[] is a flexible modeling system that integrates ecosystem models with satellite and surface weather observations to produce ecosystem nowcasts and forecasts useful in natural resources management, public health, and disaster management. Over last three years, TOPS has served 1.5TB of custom-processed data to users from the federal and state governments, university laboratories and the private sector. However, current TOPS user interface is purely static and doesn’t allow for user interaction. Users are only served through a standard ftp repository, and without the ability to query or preprocess the data. Any custom processing requests are handled on a case-by-case basis by TOPS team members and it involves some level of manual system interaction. This approach does not scale well and we will not able to support more users despite the increasing interest in TOPS data for research and applications. We propose to augment the current TOPS functionality by providing extensible, flexible, transparent access and discovery of data, and on-line on-demand analysis services through integration of existing TOPS utilities and databases together with existing open source tools, protocols, and standards for interoperability. The users will be able to perform custom visual on-line data analysis and manipulations by chaining together services and datasets provided by TOPS using drag-and-drop interface in an interactive and intuitive way. The access to the data and services will be available both through a web-based user interface based on Ajax and DHTML, as well as through published interfaces to the underlying Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) so that users can build their own interactive or batch applications based on direct machine-to-machine interfaces. The proposed enhancements to TOPS will enhance access to NASA data, model results and services to our current users as well as a growing community conducting climate change impact and ecosystem studies.
Project Administrator(s):
Petr Votava


Petr Votava