Facilitating the easy use of earth observation data in earth system models through cyberconnector


Earth system models (ESM) are an important tool used to understand the Earth system and predict its future states. On other hand, Earth observations (EO) provides the current state of the system. EO data are very useful in ESM initialization, verification, validation, and inter-comparison. However, EO data often cannot directly be consumed by ESMs because of the syntactic and semantic mismatches between EO products and ESM requirements. In order to remove the mismatches, scientists normally spend long time
to customize EO data for ESM consumption. CyberConnector, a NSF EarthCube building block, is intended to automate the data customization so that scientists can be relieved from the laborious EO data customization. CyberConnector uses web-service-based geospatial processing models (GPM) as the mechanism to automatically customize the EO data into the right products in the right form needed by ESMs. It can support many different ESMs through its standard interfaces. It consists of seven modules: GPM designer, GPM binder, GPM runner, GPM monitor, resource register, order manager, and result display. In CyberConnector, EO data instances and GPMs are independent and loosely coupled. A
modeler only needs to create a GPM in the GMP designer for EO data customization. Once the modeler specifies a study area, the designed GPM will be activated and take the  temporal and spatial extents as constraints to search the data sources and customize the available EO data into the ESM-acceptable form. The execution of GMP is completely automatic. Currently CyberConnector has been fully developed. In order to validate the feasibility, flexibility, and ESM independence of CyberConnector, three ESMs from different geoscience disciplines, including the Cloud-Resolving Model (CRM), the Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM), and the Community Multiscale Air Quality Model (CMAQ), have been experimented with CyberConnector through closely collaborating with modelers. In the experiment, the time of traditional manual operation and CyberConnector operation was compared and other benefits were identified. The result indicates that CyberConnector can save about 80% of data customization time. In addition, it can simplify the steps to plug in a data source into an ESM and lower the entry barriers for beginners to use EO data in ESMs.

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