Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Research Title: Information Systems

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 11.2
FY95 9.7
FY96 9.6

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Committee (100%)
(b) Environmental Issue: Climate Change (100%)
(c) Research Activity: Data Management (100%)

Organizational Components:
Operations, Data and Information Systems Division
Office of Mission To Planet Earth
Washington, DC

Point of Contact:
James L. Harris
Phone: 202-358-0757

Research Goals:
The Information System program within the Office of Mission to Planet Earth (OMTPE) provides scientific computing infrastructure in support of the OMTPE research mission. Particular emphasis is placed on providing a balanced system of supercomputers, mass storage, mainframes, workstations and appropriate network connectivity between researchers and components of this system.

Research Description:
A principal mission of the information system program is to provide computational support to the global earth system modeling efforts of the multidisciplinary audience encompassed by NASA's participants in the Global Change Research Program (GCRP). One of the principal challenges facing this community is the development of improved modeling and predictive capability. These future models will provide a more precise basis for determining the impact of environmental change on the world's socio-economic activities. The availability of greatly increased computer resources, with speeds and capacities up to 1,000 times those of present-generation systems, will be essential for further significant progress in global climate/Earth system modeling. Hopes are focused on massively parallel supercomputer systems, but they will require complex software code development.

Program Interfaces:
The OMTPE Information System program currently provides support through the NASA Center for Computational Science (NCCS) at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Supercomputing Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The NCCS is a full service state of the art supercomputing center serving more than 1300 NASA supported researchers with a six processor Cray C98 computer and an associated mass storage system with more than 19 terabytes of online and nearline storage capacity. The JPL supercomputing project serves as an early access testbed and outreach facility for the Earth and space science research communities. Both GSFC and JPL have significant roles in NASA's High Performance and Communications Program (HPCC), having assumed lead roles in the development of software environments and algorithms for advanced parallel platforms. These efforts will accelerate the development and application of high performance parallel computing technologies to meet the computational needs of the Earth and space science community.

Program Milestones:
The program has developed a strategy which will assure the continual evolution of this computing environment in consonance with emerging trends in science methodology and technology.

Policy Payoffs:
A better understanding of the extent, causes, and regional consequences of global change.