Accelerating analysis with NEX: Rapid assessment of the impacts of the 2012 summer drought in the United States on regional ecosystems.
Image credit: NASA Ames / Sangram Ganguly The NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) represents a new collaboration platform for the Earth science community that provides a mechanism for scientific collaboration and knowledge sharing. NEX combines state-of-the-art supercomputing, Earth system modeling, workflow management, and NASA remote sensing data feeds to deliver a complete work environment in which users can explore and analyze large datasets, run modeling codes, collaborate on new or existing projects, and quickly share results among the Earth science communities.
The main goal of NEX is to enable enhanced and more efficient use of Earth observations for NASA Earth science technology, research and applications programs. NEX utilizes the Pleiades supercomputing platform together with over 1 Petabyte (1 million gigabytes) of satellite, climate and model datasets in order to accelerate research in the Earth sciences. The results and project details can then be shared with the community through the NEX portal – a web-based knowledge network. Finally, NEX capabilities include a state-of-the-art collaboration facility that enables distributed teams to work together and share with the rest of the community through seminars and other outreach activities.
Results and Impact
As the development of NEX continues, it strives to lower the barrier of entry to data- and compute-intensive science. NEX will provide a mechanism for continuous engagement among members of the global science communities to work together to address grand challenge problems in Earth sciences.
Role of High-End Computing Resources and Services
The Pleiades supercomputing architecture combined with the massive data store and high-speed network enables NEX to engage large scientific communities and provide them with capabilities to execute modeling and data analysis on a grand scale, which was not previously achievable by most scientists. In one recent application of NEX, a team of researchers from NASA and South Dakota State University used the system to derive a new global vegetation product from over 80,000 Landsat scenes in order to provide a dynamic view of changing vegetation over the course of the year at 30-meter resolution. The processing of nearly 5 trillion pixels took only few hours on NEX, providing an unprecedented monitoring capability at a global scale.
Researchers: Petr Votava and Dr. Ramakrishna Nemani, NASA Ames Research Center