IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Service-Oriented Atmospheric Radiances (SOAR): Gridding and Analysis Services for Multisensor Aqua IR Radiance Data for Climate Studies
January 1, 2009
The Aqua spacecraft, launched on May 4, 2002, carries two well-calibrated independent infrared (IR) grating spectrometers Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS), which have been continuously returning upwelling IR spectral radiance measurements for over five years. Based on an Aqua Sr. Project Review, estimates of available flight fuel, power, and orbital projections assess the life span of the Aqua satellite, and these two instruments, to be reliable to 2013. Since launch, these instruments have generated petabytes of data, which are managed and made available by the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Earth Science Data and Information Services Center and GSFC MODAPS. Agencies such as NOAA, DOD, EPA, and USGS use the AIRS data mostly for weather-related applications, whereas MODIS data are used, in addition to some climate-related studies, for studies of weather, oceans, and land processes, aerosols, natural and man-made disasters, and earth ecology. The Science Investigator-led Processing Systems (SIPS) teams have made many of the desired products derived from these data sets available either as level 2 products and/or level 3 gridded product fields. However, no gridded level 3 data products of radiances, either averaged for a grid element, max, min, or as brightness temperatures (BTs), are provided directly by the SIPS. Thus, one impediment that the general community faces in accessing these MODIS produced petabytes of data is storing such large data sets, interpreting the multiformatted data, and transforming it into helpful data sets for climate-research needs. The Service-Oriented Atmospheric Radiance (SOAR) system has been designed to bridge these gaps and overcome the challenges of bringing this rich data source to the science community, by delivering applications that process these valuable radiance data into standard spatial-temporal grids as well as user-defined criteria on demand. SOAR can serve this comm- - unity with aggregated, enriched, and thinned gridded data sets provided with access to the data on demand, with query and subsetting capabilities across many dimensions. In addition, SOAR provides online user-specified visualization and analysis requests, all accessible via a Web browser. The utility of SOAR is exposed via Web-service routines, using the Simple Object Access Protocol. The Web-service library and supporting technologies (Axis, PostgreSQL, and Tomcat) reside on a University of Maryland Baltimore Campus client server, which interfaces to and invokes algorithms on the process server, a high-performance computer cluster and storage system. These servers are connected to the sensor data stores at the GSFC via a high-speed fiber-optic network connection [10 Gb/s], providing reliable and fast on-demand access to a vast online library of AIRS and current monthly MODIS source data.