The Virtual Solar-Terrestrial Observatory: interdisciplinary data-driven science

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Virtual Observatories can provide access to vast stores of scientific data: observations and models. As these electronic stores become widely used, there is potential to improve the efficiency, interoperability, collaborative potential, and impact of a wide range of interdisciplinary scientific research. In order to realize this potential, technical challenges need to be addressed concerning (at least) representations and interoperability of data, access, and usability. In the Virtual Solar Terrestrial Observatory (VSTO) project, we are providing an electronic repository of observational data spanning the solar-terrestrial physics domain. We are also implementing tools and infrastructure for accessing and using the data. Our main contributions include the repository, infrastructure, and tools for the particular solar terrestrial physics as well as the design and infrastructure that may be broadened to cover more diverse science areas and communities of use.

In this presentation, we describe the goals, design, current and planned implementations, and technical infrastructure. We present what we have learned about the processes involved in developing VSTO and the required semantics, how they affect the framework architecture, choice of technologies and service interfaces.

VSTO is an NSF-funded joint effort between the High Altitude Observatory and the Scientific Computing Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and McGuinness Associates Consulting.


DateCreated ByLink
May 13, 2013
Patrick WestDownload

Related Projects:

DCO-DS LogoVirtual Solar Terrestrial Observatory (VSTO)
Principal Investigator: Peter Fox
Co Investigator: Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: VSTO is a collaborative project between the High Altitude Observatory and Scientific Computing Division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and McGuinness Associates. VSTO is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in the Shared Cyberinfrastructure (SCI) division.

Related Research Areas:

Semantic eScience
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Science has fully entered a new mode of operation. E-science, defined as a combination of science, informatics, computer science, cyberinfrastructure and information technology is changing the way all of these disciplines do both their individual and collaborative work.
As semantic technologies have been gaining momentum in various e-Science areas (for example, W3C's new interest group for semantic web health care and life science), it is important to offer semantic-based methodologies, tools, middleware to facilitate scientific knowledge modeling, logical-based hypothesis checking, semantic data integration and application composition, integrated knowledge discovery and data analyzing for different e-Science applications.
Partially influenced by the Artificial Intelligence community, the Semantic Web researchers have largely focused on formal aspects of semantic representation languages or general-purpose semantic application development, with inadequate consideration of requirements from specific science areas. On the other hand, general science researchers are growing ever more dependent on the web, but they have no coherent agenda for exploring the emerging trends on the semantic web technologies. It urgently requires the development of a multi-disciplinary field to foster the growth and development of e-Science applications based on the semantic technologies and related knowledge-based approaches.

Concepts: eScience