The Multi-Mission Algorithm and Analysis Platform (MAAP) is a collaborative project between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) designed to support collaborative research. MAAP brings together relevant data, algorithms, and computing capabilities in a common cloud environment to address the challenges of sharing and processing data from field, airborne, and satellite measurements related to NASA, ESA, and other space agency missions.
Challenge and Solution
Data from NASA and ESA biomass missions such as AfriSAR and the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission are serving as the initial test set for MAAP. Future missions such as ESA's BIOMASS and the joint NASA/Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) NISAR will gather unprecedented data about Earth, but will also generate exponentially higher data volumes than any currently operating Earth observation missions. The high volume and heterogeneous nature of the data from these missions (which are collected from satellites, aircraft, and ground stations at various resolutions, coverages, and processing levels) present data storage, processing, and sharing challenges. These challenges present the scientific community with a unique and immediate need for improved data sharing and collaboration strategies.
MAAP addresses these community needs by:
- Enabling researchers to easily discover, process, visualize, and analyze large volumes of data from NASA and ESA missions and validation/calibration activities
- Harmonizing satellite, airborne, ground/field to enable comparison, analysis, data evaluation, and data generation
- Developing tools for repeatable and shareable science with a version-controlled science algorithm development environment that supports tools co-located with data and processing resources
- Continuing and reinforcing the NASA and ESA commitments to open data (satellite, airborne, and ground)
- Developing open-source software from project inception
Collaboration and Interoperability
In order to make biomass relevant data more discoverable and usable, NASA and ESA are working together to make data and metadata more interoperable across organizations. The MAAP platform is being developed as a virtual open and collaborative environment, leveraging cloud technologies to facilitate open data use across aggregated datasets.
Interoperability requires a new approach to data stewardship. The MAAP data team has explored new methods of metadata curation to meet the needs of the Earth observation research community. The data publication workflow enables traditional data publication and data aggregation activities such as organizing and storing data and developing metadata, then makes these data discoverable to users in a centralized, cloud-based location.
Metadata are collected and published to the Common Metadata Repository (CMR) via the Metadata Management Tool (MMT). The MAAP data team also has developed tools to support data stewardship and has created a process that is flexible, collaborative, and adaptive to support more effective data discovery and use.
The platform and the data stewardship approach are designed to lower barriers to data use and enable interactions among researchers, data providers, data curators, scientific subject matter experts, and technologists from both NASA and ESA.
In accordance with NASA’s open data policy, all data, services, and software are freely and openly available to research and applications communities, private industry, academia, and the general public.
The MAAP Pilot was delivered in 2019 and demonstrated collaboration and basic capabilities focusing on biomass-relevant airborne and field campaign data. MAAP Version 1.0 was publicly released by NASA and ESA in October 2021, with MAAP Version 2.0 expected to be released in 2022.