6B.8 The Research Data Archive at NCAR

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 5:15 PM
607 (Washington State Convention Center)
Douglas Schuster, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. Worley

The Research Data Archive (RDA) at NCAR is an open access repository of data for weather and climate research. The core datasets in the RDA are characterized as collections of meteorological and oceanographic in situ observations and a wide variety of analyses and forecasts derived from them. Stewardship work on this archive began four decades ago with a purpose to serve research at NCAR. Since then, the RDA has grown rapidly and because of the open access principles and system design it now provides data worldwide.

This paper will describe core data categories and featured datasets, discuss how archiving tools are applied across the RDA, review the strategy to manage millions of files in conjunction with metadata databases to enable data discovery, and emphasize scale appropriate access capabilities of this heterogeneous collection.

The RDA has recently transitioned to a new supporting IT infrastructure. The current and future user benefits from this transition include much more data online, co-location of data and supercomputing that enable greater server-side data preparation from multi-terabyte datasets, data research opportunities at NCAR, and the potential to add new datasets that strengthen the relevance of the RDA to the research community and possibly address the NSF data management requirements for selected research efforts.

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