446 The CPEX Data Portal: Data and Visualizations to Enable Science Investigations

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Brian W. Knosp, JPL, Pasadena, CA; and P. P. Li, Q. A. Vu, S. M. Hristova-Veleva, F. J. Turk, and B. Lambrigtsen

The NASA Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX) aircraft field campaign took place in the summer of 2017 in the North Atlantic / Caribbean Ocean region. During this campaign, the NASA DC-8 aircraft carried several instruments that took measurements with the goal of collecting data to help answer questions about convective storm initiation, organization, growth, and dissipation. To help researchers answer science questions about convective storms, the CPEX Data Portal (https://cpexportal.jpl.nasa.gov) was created to bring together relevant satellite and model data, along with aircraft data observed during the campaign.

Several science investigations are set to begin now that the field campaign phase has concluded. These investigations will make use of the data collected by instruments aboard the DC-8 aircraft by researching the role of thermodynamics, sea surface temperature hotspots, and African Easterly Waves (AEW) in convective processes. The CPEX Data Portal will enable these studies by allowing researchers to visualize plots in a common space so they can gain a sense of the conditions both along the DC-8 flight path and in the overall region.

To create this portal, the CPEX Data Portal team used the existing JPL Tropical Cyclone Information System's (TCIS) near real-time data portal software package to launch a campaign-specific portal. The portal team worked with the science investigators to identify physical quantities, data sets, and plot formats that would be of interest. The portal is highly configurable to user specifications and the TCIS software package includes the ability to process data from various sources, subset it to a domain of interest (e.g. the Caribbean Ocean), and produce a plot. The original – and large – input data is discarded while the subsetted data is served to users on an FTP site. The plots are made available on the portal website where users can choose what plots they want to display on a Cesium virtual globe based on date and time temporal search parameters.

In using this virtual globe, CPEX portal users can create different 'scenes' where they can overlay data plots from multiple sources. Once they identify a feature of interest in a plot, they can download the data that created the plots from an FTP site. Data and plot files are managed through a MySQL database and can be matched with each other to serve data of interest to the user.

The data and plots presented by the CPEX portal have many applications for the campaign science investigations. For example, this portal will allow researchers conducting AEW investigations to visualize information related to atmospheric precipitable water from both the AIRS satellite instrument and ECMWF models to give context to the measurements taken aboard the DC-8. Another example would be using portal's data and visualizations to quantify possible scaling between sea surface temperature and convection. The strength of the portal and its visualizations is that the system is able to bring together data from many different types of instruments such as sounders, lidar, and radars and plot the data in a meaningful way. Not only will they be able to access plots of data taken by the aircraft during the campaign, but they will be able to see how it compares to both satellite and model data plots.

In this presentation, we will discuss how the CPEX Data Portal manages its data and creates visualizations. The portal's overall architecture will be discussed with an eye towards how it ultimately enables CPEX science investigations.

Supplementary URL: https://cpexportal.jpl.nasa.gov

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