Hughes, SSDOO Hold Science Data Centers Symposium

Volume 13, Number 4, December 1997
By Louis Mayo

Hughes STX (HSTX) Corporation, NSSDC's support services contractor, on November 17 and 18, 1997, in partnership with the Space Science Data Operations Office (SSDOO) held the 2nd Annual Hughes Science Data Centers Symposium (DCS '97) at Goddard Space Flight Center. The symposium, designed to encourage exchange of information throughout a large space and Earth science data center community, comprised some 29 oral presentations and 14 interactive demonstration/poster sessions over the two days on topics ranging from data center management models to the future of mass storage technologies. In all, over 150 people attended the conference representing a unique gathering of a wide range of agencies, including those of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the European Space Agency (ESA). Both space and Earth science disciplines were well represented with talks and presentations from Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE); the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI); the Planetary Data System (PDS); the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), the NCDC, and the National Climate Data Center (NGDC); NASA HQ Office of Space Sciences (OSS); the EROS Data Center (EDC); the ECS; and a strong contingent of Goddard contributions including Code 600, International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP), SSDOO, NSSDC, the Astrophysics Data Facility (ADF), the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAAC), and the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC). Welcome addresses were given by Steven Holt (GSFC Code 600 director), James Green (Code 630 head), and Robert Bishop (vice president, HSTX) followed by inspirational speeches by Joseph Bredekamp (OSS) and Robert Price (MTPE) outlining their visions of the NASA space and Earth science data management and archiving environments in the twenty-first century.

Kenneth Klenk, left, and Joseph King discuss data center matters between presentations.

Day one concluded with a plenary discussion session MC'd by Kenneth Klenk, Hughes STX project manager at EDC. Ken led panel members Joseph King, Kirk Borne, Donald Sawyer, and Hank Frey and the audience through some very thought-provoking questions, including "What problems did we (as data centers) have ten years ago that we are still facing today?" and "What should we be doing in the new millennium to ensure our success?" Day-one talks concluded with just enough time to climb on board the buses that took conference-goers to the Baltimore Inner Harbor for dinner at the Maryland Science Center. Attendees were treated to an IMAX film (Titanica) and browsed through the many hands-on science exhibits throughout the center.

A reception and dinner was held at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Participants were able to mingle and talk in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Day-two presentations involved more technically focused talks in the morning followed by parallel poster/demonstration and video sessions at the NSSDC in the afternoon. Susan McMahon, project manager of NASA's Planetary Data Center, led two video presentation and discussion sessions on the preservation of information into the twenty-first century. All in all, it was a very successful symposium.

Poster sessions were held for other data centers to showcase their products and services.

Next year's symposium is already being planned (rumor has it that the EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the lead candidate), but before concluding DCS '97 activities, symposium organizers would like to collect all of the slides used in the two days of presentations and make them available on the Web. Organizers expect to have everyone's slides available by mid-January 1998.

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Miranda Beall,, (301) 286-0162
Raytheon STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.

Erin D. Gardner,, (301) 286-0163
Raytheon STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.

NASA home page GSFC home page GSFC organizational page

Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 26 JAN 98 [EDG]