EISCAT is a non-profit scientific organisation that operates four radar antenna sites to enable research on the lower, middle and upper atmosphere and ionosphere using the incoherent scatter radar technique. Its research facilities are located in three main countries: Finland, Norway and Sweden, North of the Arctic circle.
Supporting the development of infrastructures to study the Earth’s atmosphere with EISCAT_3D
The EISCAT_3D radar system will provide a thirty-year update to EISCAT’s existing mainland facilities, exploiting the capabilities of state-of-the-art electronics, networking, storage and computing. In doing so, it will outstrip the capabilities of any such radar operating in the world and become the centrepiece of the international network of instruments monitoring the Earth’s upper atmosphere and space environment in the first half of the twenty-first century.
The new system will open up new opportunities for physicists to explore a variety of research fields, but it comes with significant challenges in handling large-scale experimental data. The incoming data rates from all 60000 receivers amounting to 100Tb/s in total need to be reduced to a few PB/year to be within funding limits.
The EISCAT_3D research infrastructure has to be set up to make this data browsable and analysable for researchers, as well as archiving it for the long-term (it is planned to archive around 2PB per year). This primary mission is achieved by procuring sufficiently big storage and network capacities at a few data/compute centres (for back-up or load distribution). The data will be transferred to these locations after initial filtering and calibration at the data source(s). The data/compute centres are responsible for data archival, data curation, generation of derived data and for sharing the data with scientists. Data must be shared with scientists via a data access portal and programming APIs.
The EISCAT Data Access Portal should offer the following main features:
Authentication and Authorization: Any researcher should be able to access the portal and browse metadata. The portal grants/denies access to data and processing based on affiliation.
Data browser: Authorised researchers should be able to browse reference applications in the portal, select an application for use, feed their data in, visualise or download the analysis result.
Data download: Authorised researchers should be able to select the EISCAT_3D data they are interested in for download.
Online computing: Authorised researchers should be able to analyse data without downloading them, using cloud resources, reference applications or user’s own software.
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