The National Space Science Data Center is working closely with the French Space Agency (Centre Nationale dEtudes Spatiale [CNES]) as well as several other organizations to develop a Space Physics Archive Search Engine (SPASE). SPASE is intended to provide space physics researchers with a rapid data searching and acquisition capability across multiple, diverse archives of space physics data scattered worldwide. To make it easier to work together on SPASE, CNES has sent one of its computer scientists, Thierry Levoir, to work directly with the NSSDC Information Systems group in defining and implementing an initial system for simultaneously searching for data at NSSDC and at the Centre de Données de la Physique des Plasmas (CDPP [Space Physics Data Center]) (http://cdpp.cesr.fr/english/index.html) in Toulouse, France. CDPP is a joint service of CNES and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Mr. Lavoir is spending the months of August and September 2000 working at NSSDC and will return for another two-month stay in early 2001.
SPASE will provide a value-added data search capability for the space physics community that will be more than a list of URLs. Results of searches are to be presented to the user in a homogeneous fashion allowing rapid identification of the location of potentially useful data sets. The objectives are to enhance SPASE functionality with time by increasing the categories of search criteria, allowing the resulting data sets to be intercompared by parameters such as overlapping time intervals, and enabling rapid acquisition of the data through the network. An increasingly broad group of space physics data holders and data seekers will be involved in the evolution of SPASE to ensure that SPASE will satisfy real needs in the most cost-effective ways. NSSDC is grateful to CNES for enabling Mr. Levoir to work directly with NSSDC staff, thereby speeding the progress of the creation of SPASE.
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Author: Miranda Beall