NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S6.05-9187
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Software as a Service to Large Scale Modeling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Enhancing access to scientific models through standard web services

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Global Science & Technology, Inc.
7855 Walker Drive, Suite 200
Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 3239
(301) 474-9696

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Evans
4855 Walker Drive
Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 3239
(301) 474-9696

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to investigate the feasibility and value of the "Software as
a Service" paradigm in facilitating access to Earth Science numerical
models. We envision providing prototype Web-based access to NASA
scientific models (GEOS-5, WRF) and their results, via industry-standard
service interfaces (OGC's Web Coverage Service, Web Map Service,
OPeNDAP) implemented by open-source software tools such as MapServer and
THREDDS. These services would allow declarative access to pre-computed
model outputs, on-demand (asynchronous or synchronous) model runs, and
user-customizable model workflows. These services would use the MAP
Mobile Environment Workflow tool and associated templates to encapsulate
details of the model software and the computing environment in which it

Providing these modeling capabilities as a service, through
well-defined, widely-supported Web interfaces, would facilitate
loosely-coupled collaborative work among different computing facilities
and different disciplines; and it would broaden access to modeling
beyond those already "in the know" or qualified to login to a NASA
computing resource. We will conduct the study in stages, beginning with
Web access to pre-stored model results, followed by on-demand model runs
and culminating in service-based workflow customization.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This project aims to provide standard Web service interfaces to NASA's
Earth Science models, for use by fellow scientists, decision-makers, and
many others. By opening access to its model and computing resources,
NASA meets its obligations to serve broader interests (including
academic and other agency partners), and grows the number of users and
uses of NASA models, thus enhancing the impact and value of these
models, and strengthening continued support for high-end computing and
modeling. By facilitating access to numerical models through standard,
well-known services, NASA also provides a fertile environment in which
many different entities [rather than a handful of people "in the know"]
can compete to develop software tools for validation, further analysis,
or societal applications. Standard Web interfaces give commercial
entities "a leg up," decreasing the time they require to build
applications that use models and their outputs. And broader competition,
within a standards-based "level playing field," is likely to increase
the diversity and quality of software choices available to NASA for use
with its models.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA Earth system models and modeling infrastructure were designed to
meet specific needs of modelers, and to support fairly esoteric
scientific interests. However, easier access to these models may make
them usable outside of the traditional NASA earth science community, in
"what if" scenarios and forecasts supporting operational and policy
decisions on various time scales. This is likely to attract new users
and uses of NASA models and model outputs, in such diverse fields as
aviation, weather and climate, agriculture, environmental and ecosystem
management, energy / utility industries, real estate, and many others
that could benefit from improved access to predictive modeling for
decision-making, planning, and management. Much as the wide availability
of satellite data in the 1980s, and of digital Census data in the 1990s,
spawned a market for repackaging, customizing, and mining public data
for use in a variety of settings, easier and broader model access is
likely to grow the market for targeted software applications that can
harness these models for myriad practical applications.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Software Development Environments
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56