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OCR for page 25
Assessment of Solar System Exploration Programs 1991 (Chapter 7) Assessment of Solar System Exploration Programs 1991 7 Data Management and Computation Issues in Planetary Science A former committee of the Space Science Board, the Committee on Data Management and Computation (CODMAC), published a series of reports between 1982 and 1988 (SSB, 1982, 1986c, 1988a). Their recommendations were designed to facilitate scientific progress using data returned from NASA missions. The committee also made recommendations about the types of and access to computational resources needed to carry out NASA missions. COMPLEX restates here the following subset of CODMAC recommendations to ensure that past efforts partly initiated by CODMAC be continued: REPORT MENU NOTICE MEMBERSHIP 1. Active involvement of scientists must exist in all phases of data FOREWORD management planning. SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 2. Data must be made available to the scientists— CHAPTER 2 a. in a usable format, CHAPTER 3 b. in a format in which multiple data sets can be compared, and CHAPTER 4 c. in a timely manner. CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 3. Scientific data should be annotated and stored in a permanent and CHAPTER 8 retrievable form. CHAPTER 9 REFERENCES 4. Adequate financial resources to analyze mission data should be set aside and protected from loss due to cost overruns in NASA's flight programs. A significant product of the first three of these recommendations is the Planetary Data System (PDS), which archives and distributes digital data from past and ongoing planetary missions. The purpose of the PDS is to facilitate access to multiple data sets by planetary scientists, who have had an active role file:///C|/SSB_old_web/ssep91ch7.htm (1 of 3) [6/18/2004 1:58:30 PM]

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Assessment of Solar System Exploration Programs 1991 (Chapter 7) in the design of the data system to ensure its utility. COMPLEX will continue to monitor the progress of the PDS to measure its contribution to meeting the scientific objectives of solar system exploration. During the lifetime of CODMAC, a revolution in computer networking occurred. The ability to communicate with colleagues via electronic mail and to transport data among computers has speeded scientific progress. At this time the networks are a great facilitator of science. The Data analysis programs supported by the Solar System Exploration Division are designed to provide adequate resources to analyze data from spacecraft missions. As part of the Research and Analysis program, the Data Analysis programs continue to be subject to cuts due to programmatic taxes and cost overruns in flight programs. Another issue that CODMAC addressed was access to supercomputers. We note that the National Science Foundation has provided access to supercomputers that has enabled computational studies in planetary sciences, but that there is a need for scientists to have local workstations to carry out those aspects of their work not requiring supercomputers, such as data storage and display. file:///C|/SSB_old_web/ssep91ch7.htm (2 of 3) [6/18/2004 1:58:30 PM]