Alternative approaches, based on distributed Direct Broadcast facilities, can reduce the delay in NPP data delivery from hours to minutes, and can make products more directly usable by practitioners in the field. To assess and fulfill this potential, we are developing a suite of software that couples Direct Broadcast data feeds with a streamlined, scalable processing chain and geospatial Web services, so as to permit many more time-sensitive applications to use NPP data.
The resulting geoservices infrastructure links a variety of end-user tools and applications to NPP data from different sources, and to other rapidly-changing geospatial data. By using well-known, standard software interfaces (such as OGC Web Services or OPeNDAP), this infrastructure serves a variety of end-user analysis and visualization tools, giving them access into datasets of arbitrary size and resolution and allowing them to request and receive tailored products on demand. The standards-based approach may also streamline data sharing among independent satellite receiving facilities, thus helping them to interoperate in providing frequent, composite views of continent-scale or global regions.
To enable others to build similar or derived systems, the service components we are developing (based in part on the Community Satellite Processing Package (CSPP) from the University of Wisconsin and the International Polar-Orbiter Processing Package (IPOPP) from NASA) are being released as open source software. Furthermore, they are configured to operate in a cloud computing environment, so as to allow even small organizations to process and serve NPP data without large hardware investments; and to maintain near-real-time performance cost-effectively by growing and shrinking their use of computing resources to meet large, rapid fluctuations in end-user demand, data availability, and processing needs. (This is especially important for polar-orbiting satellites like NPP, which pass within range of a receiver only a few times each day.)
We will discuss the design of the infrastructure, highlight its capabilities, and sketch its potential to enhance near-real-time applications via distributed NPP data streams, and to facilitate broad access to satellite data processing and visualization.