IU receives $1.25 million from NASA to manage polar mission data
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— Indiana University IT experts will manage critical climate data from two NASA polar missions, again demonstrating IU's advanced data management and storage solutions for climate scientists.
IU recently received $1.25 million in awards from the NASA Airborne Science Program to provide specialized IT services to two NASA missions, Operation Ice Bridge and Global Hawk. These services will play a crucial role in the collection of data about earth's changing polar ice sheets and glaciers. In particular, IU's support will help scientists improve models of the physical interactions of glaciers, sea ice and ice sheets at both poles.
"NASA and its partners are working to research and solve problems of global significance. By providing high-quality data management, our team lets them focus on the science - the buildup and breakdown of polar ice and snow," said Rich Knepper, manager of the campus bridging and research infrastructure team within Research Technologies Systems, part of IU's Pervasive Technology Institute. "It's an amazing feeling to know our IU technology and expertise is facilitating such a critical area of research."
The Operation IceBridge award is a renewal. For four years, IU has provided IT support to the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas. CReSIS plays a major role in the IceBridge mission, providing radar technology that measures physical interactions of polar ice sheets. In October, IU also unveiled an in-flight data copy system for instantly processing and archiving data collected by CReSIS radar systems in NASA's DC-8 aircraft. (The system will be the southernmost cluster when flights reach the South Pole - read more about IU's role in Operation IceBridge.)
The Global Hawk project is a new award for IU's Research Technologies Systems. NASA's Unmanned Global Hawk aircraft are capable of 32 hours of flight. Beginning in 2014, the planes will be equipped with CReSIS snow radar in order to measure glacial snow accumulation. IU's role in the project will be to collect snow radar data after flights, process it on site, and return it to CReSIS researchers for further analysis.
"One of the nice things about Global Hawk is that it gives you a really long flight time, which allows for big gains in how much scientific data you get," said Knepper. "And our team will be standing by to take care of that important data as soon as the plane lands."
About Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute
Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) at Indiana University is a world-class organization dedicated to the development and delivery of innovative information technology to advance research, education, industry, and society. Supported in part by a $15-million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., PTI is built upon a spirit of collaboration and brings together researchers and technologists from a range of disciplines and organizations, including the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington, the IU Maurer School of Law, and University Information Technology Services at Indiana University. For more information, see http://pti.iu.edu.