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Managing the Deluge of 'big Data' From Space

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The center of the Milky Way galaxy, imaged by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are developing new ways to manage large, complex data streams of space-related information.

Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Researchers at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are developing new strategies for managing large and complex data streams.

"We are the keepers of the data, and the users are the astronomers and scientists who need images, mosaics, maps, and movies to find patterns and verify theories," says JPL's Eric De Jong, principal investigator for NASA's Solar System Visualization project. He says there are three aspects to managing data from space missions, including storage, processing, and access.

The researchers are developing software tools to better store the data, such as cloud computing techniques and automated programs for extracting data. "We don't need to reinvent the wheel," says JPL's Chris Mattmann. "We can modify open source computer codes to create faster, cheaper solutions."

The researchers also are developing new ways to visualize the data. "Data are not just getting bigger but more complex," De Jong says. "We are constantly working on ways to automate the process of creating visualization products, so that scientists and engineers can easily use the data." He notes that as these new tools evolve, so will the ability to make sense of big data projects.

From NASA News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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