Archiving, Retrieving, and Tracking Mission Data for NASA

Volume 10, Numbers 3 & 4, December 1994
by David Silberberg
The Systems Development Section of NSSDC's support team, led by David Silberberg, is responsible for developing and maintaining systems that archive and retrieve data and track information about all NASA science missions. It' s also responsible for standards development and tracking through the NASA/Science Office of Standards and Technology (NOST).

Meet the team that handles NASA science mission data (left to right): David Silberberg, Anne Litcher, Lance Sprayregen, Anna Lui, Andy Lee, Ella Munoz, Sridharan Sudarsan, Sharon Conroy, Barry Schlesinger, Kim Blackwell, Doug Hoffman, and John Garrett.

The Information Systems Task builds and maintains user interface systems to track descriptive data about NASA science mission data reaching back to the 1950s. Some of the software systems that manage these data are the NASA Master Directory (NMD), NASA Master Catalog (RSIRS), and the Personnel Information Management System (PIMS). These can be found on NSSDC's Online Data and Information Service (NODIS) interface and can be reached by setting host or telneting to the nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov computer. They are also becoming available over the World Wide Web (WWW). The task is also responsible for the Inventory Data Archive (IDA) database. Jim Thieman oversees this task, which is led by Sharon Conroy. Her staff includes John Fuller, Carol Rosen, and Lance Sprayregen.

The NSSDC Storage Systems Task builds and maintains the NSSDC Data Archive and Distribution System (NDADS), which archives many astrophysics and space physics datasets on nearline and online media. Some of the interfaces for retrieving these data are ARMS (an E-mail interface), ISTP, and Quasar (a WWW interface). This task is overseen by Jeanne Behnke and led by Anne Litcher. Anne's staff includes Andy Lee, Anna Lui, and Sudarsan Sridharan.

The NOST Task is responsible for maintaining and expanding the NOST so that it can effectively respond to the standards needs of the NASA and science communities. Some responsibilities of the NOST office include support for SFDU, FITS, the CCSDC Control Authority Office Information System (CAOIS), and the Standards and Technology Information System (STIS). Don Sawyer oversees this task, which is led by John Garrett. John's staff includes Barry Schlesinger and Ann Lipscomb.

The Systems Development Section also supports the Life Sciences interface, in conjunction with the science staff. Doug Hoffman is developing the bulk of this software.

In addition, the section is responsible for the bulk of the new system effort to unify NSSDC' s meta-database interfaces and data archive. The new system will provide a consistent interface for browsing all the descriptive information of data held at NSSDC (and elsewhere, through NMD), as well as interfaces for ordering the data, allowing acquisition scientists to add and modify the descriptive data, providing required reports, and making the ingest process more efficient. The Systems Development Section's aggressive schedule calls for delivery of a Build 0 version of System X in August or September 1995.

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 21 Nov 1996 [EDG]