Lessons Learned from the NSF ORION Cyber Infrastructure Architecture

Speaker: John Orcutt

Routine, long-term measurement of episodic oceanic processes on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales is crucial to resolving scientific questions related to Earth’s climate, geodynamics and marine ecosystems. Establishing innovative ocean observatories with the capacity to provide unprecedented levels of power and communication to access and manipulate real-time sensor networks deployed within the ocean will enable scientific discovery. The core capabilities and the principal objectives of ocean observatories are the collection of real-time data, the ability to analyze data and model the ocean on multiple scales, and adaptive experimentation within the ocean. A traditional data-centric Cyber Infrastructure, in which a central data management system ingests data and serves them to users on a query basis, is no longer adequate to accomplish the range of tasks ocean scientists will engage in when the NSF Ocean Observatory Initiative is implemented. Instead, a highly distributed set of capabilities are required that allow:

  • End-to-end data preservation and access,
  • End-to-end, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine control of how data are collected and analyzed,
  • Direct, closed loop interaction of models with the data acquisition process,
  • Virtual collaborations created on demand that drive data-model coupling and share ocean observatory resources (e.g., instruments, networks, computing, storage and workflows) and
  • End-to-end preservation of the ocean observatory process, its outcomes, and automation of the planning and prosecution of observational programs