NASA seeks industry insight on developing open system, cloud-based tech for IMPACT program

April 12, 2024
The program aims to utilize an open, cloud-based program to enable scientists outside NASA to use its data.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. are asking industry for information and potential sources as the agency looks to build an open, cloud-based program to enable scientists outside NASA to use its data.

NASA’s Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) is a collaborative, team that works to further NASA’s Earth Science Data System (ESDS) program goal of overseeing the lifecycle of Earth science data to maximize the scientific return of NASA's missions and experiments. IMPACT’s three focus areas are interagency collaboration, assessment and evaluation, and research and development of advanced concepts.

IMPACT requires continued development including new dashboard instances of NASA's Visualization, Exploration, and Data Analysis (VEDA) Platform. The VEDA platform provides sustained support to NASA HQ’s ESDS Program to advance interactive visualization, exploratory visual data analysis, geographic information system (GIS), and within the cloud computing and high-performance computing environments.

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A contract for VEDA development support has been issued, outlining key tasks to be undertaken in collaboration with NASA. The contractor is tasked with providing support across various facets. Firstly, concerning the Data System hosted in the NASA cloud, the contractor is expected to incorporate a wide array of data types, such as raster, vector, and tabular data, into the system. This includes integrating heterogeneous datasets from diverse sources like satellites and ground measurements while ensuring compatibility with different sensors and resolutions. Additionally, the contractor will develop and implement a data governance framework to manage these integrated datasets effectively.

Secondly, the contractor will develop a uniform data ingestion pipeline for the platform and system within the NASA cloud to streamline data transformation and integration processes. This will be complemented by the implementation of a lightweight metadata catalog to organize and manage metadata efficiently. Furthermore, the contractor will provide application programming interfaces (APIs) for data discovery, access, and visualization, along with a mapping interface for geospatial data visualization and interaction. The establishment of a pipeline to ingest, publish, and display derived insights in a user-friendly manner is also part of the mandate, along with the development of GIS-compatible data services and plugins.

Regarding usability, the system must be designed to cater to different users in both exploratory and explanatory modes. This includes offering appropriate data visualizations based on data type and narratives, customizable widgets for user personalization, as well as overview information for quick data understanding, with detailed information available on demand.

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In a more general sense, a modular design approach is required to allow for the replacement or upgrading of system components as technologies evolve. The platform and system must be performing well and capable of supporting interactivity with large-scale data. Additionally, support for existing projects such as the Earth Information System and the NASA-ESA-JAXA trilateral dashboard is mandated, along with the development of tools to collect and report metrics.

Furthermore, alignment with open science principles is essential. This entails developing the system and its ecosystem as open and reusable software, engaging the community in the development process to encourage buy-in from a diverse pool of developers and users, and aligning design choices, including APIs and data formats, with existing and evolving community standards and best practices.

Finally, the contractor must provide support for analytic platform-based cross-organization collaboration requirements by developing thematic area-specific components and onboarding science teams to thematic-specific environments.

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There is no formal solicitation for this project at this time. Interested firms having the required capabilities necessary to meet the are invited to submit a capability statement of no more than ten pages indicating the ability to perform all aspects of the effort. All responses shall be submitted electronically via email to Iris R. Walter at [email protected] no later than Friday, 19 April 2024. Please reference IVEDA in responses.

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