Amazon Web Services To Feature NASA Earth Science Satellite Data
November 12, 2013

NASA Making Satellite Data Available On Amazon’s Cloud

Lee Rannals for – Your Universe Online

NASA is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring Earth science satellite data to the cloud.

The space agency said it would be making a large collection of climate and Earth science satellite data available to research and educational users through the AWS cloud. The system enhances research and educational opportunities for the US geoscience community by promoting community-driven research, innovation and collaboration.

"NASA continues to support and provide open public access to research data, and this collaboration is entirely consistent with that objective," NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan at the agency's headquarters in Washington said in a press release. "Earth science research is important to every person on the planet, and we welcome contributions from all researchers in improving our understanding of Earth and its climate."

NASA said this new project would experiment with a new way to provide data services, allowing users around the world to gain access to an integrated Earth science computational and data management system. The service encompasses selected NASA satellite and global change data sets and data processing tools from the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), which is a research platform at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

"We are excited to grow an ecosystem of researchers and developers who can help us solve important environmental research problems," Rama Nemani, principal scientist for the NEX project at Ames, said in a press release. "Our goal is that people can easily gain access to and use a multitude of data analysis services quickly through AWS to add knowledge and open source tools for others' benefit."

NEX is a platform that combines state-of-the-art supercomputing, Earth system modeling, workflow management and NASA remote-sensing data. Users can use NEX to explore and analyze large Earth science data sets, run and share modeling algorithms, collaborate on new or existing projects and exchange workflows and results.

NASA said it has uploaded terabytes of data from three satellite and computer modeling datasets to the AWS platform and will upload more in the future. One of the data sets available helps provide high-resolution climate change projections for the 48 contiguous US states. The second set offers up a global view of Earth’s surface every one to two days. Landsat data available on the cloud provides the longest existing continuous space-based record of Earth’s land.

"By bringing these NASA public data assets into the AWS cloud, we help NASA engage a larger community for global change impact modeling and analysis as well as data sciences innovation in general,” Jamie Kinney, AWS senior manager for scientific computing, said in a press release. "Together, NASA and AWS are delivering faster time to science and taking the complexity out of accessing this important climate data."