The succession of US and international satellites that follow each other, seconds to minutes apart, across the local afternoon equator crossing is called the A-Train. The A-Train consists of the following satellites, in order of equator crossing: Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2), Aqua, CloudSat, CALIPSO, Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with Observations from a Lidar (PARASOL), and Aura.
Flying in such formation increases the number of observations, validates observations, and enables coordination between science observations, resulting in a more complete "virtual science platform". (Kelly, 2003) The goal of the project is to create the first ever A-Train virtual data portal/center, the A-Train Data Depot, to process, archive, access, visualize, analyze and correlate distributed atmosphere measurements from various A-Train instruments along A-Train tracks.
The A-Train Data Depot will enable the free movement of remotely located A-Train data so that they are combined to create a consolidated vertical view of the Earth's Atmosphere along the A-Train tracks. Once the infrastructure of the A-Train Data Depot is in place, it will be easily evolved to serve data from all A-Train data measurements: 'one stop shopping'.
The innovative approach of analyzing and visualizing atmospheric profiles along the platforms track (i.e., time) will be accommodated by reusing the Goddard Atmospheric Composition Data and Information Services Center (ACDISC) visualization and analysis tool, GIOVANNI (TRL7); data reduction tool, Simple, Scalable, Script-based Science Processor for Missions (S4PM) (TRL 9); On-line archiving for fast data access, Simple, Scalable, Script-based Science Processor for Archive (S4PA) (TRL 7); and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere Generic Auxiliary Data Processor for subsetting (TRL 8). The integration of independently developed tools leverages NASA investments towards developing more advanced science driven products.
Initial measurements utilized include CALIPSO lidar backscatter, CloudSat radar reflectivity, clear air relative humidity, water vapor and temperature from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), cloud properties and aerosols from both the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and, eventually, PARASOL. This will be followed by including measurements from the Aura and OCO-2 instruments, thereby rounding out the availability of the full suite of A-Tran instrument data products. The project's resulting visualizations and analysis illustrate the importance of managing data so that measurements from various missions can be combined to enhance the understanding of the atmosphere.
This proposal aims to address the challenges of coordinating data management of data from various archives, originating from several instruments. A-Train data management coordination, as performed here, is extremely significant in facilitating the A-Train science of clouds, precipitation, aerosol and chemistry. At projects end, scientists associated with Atmospheric Chemistry, and Water and Energy Science Focus Areas (SFA) will have a clear connection with their data of interest by being able to access the specific subset (parameter, spatial, and temporal) of interest, and not large files of data which inhibited data access in the past.