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Press Release - Earth Server 2

2 years 9 months ago


February 2018

Exploring Mars’ “channels” and the Dark Side of the Moon from your living room.

Although the truth is that the Moon does not have a dark side, it is a fact that only about half of it is visible from Earth, generating from time to time the background for fiction and conspiracy theories. Modern technology slowly pulls the veil of mystery from celestial bodies which in the past have been a source of inspiration. Nowadays the possibility of exploring the “dark” side of the moon, but also the exploration of Mars and its’ “channels”, is available to everyone who has access to a modern web browser.

The PlanetServer web service (access.planetserver.eu) enables you to view the surface of celestial bodies that have been captured from past space missions. In the web environment of the service – which is based on NASA’s Web World Wind technology and it is under constant development – one can rotate the celestial body and focus on details of its embossing in a similar manner to examining our planet through popular web map systems. In the background of the web service (rasdaman), a powerful data management system, deals with the technical details of processing and handling the huge amount of data required for the operation of the service. In the foreground of the web service the visitor meets (Web World Wind) an advanced geospatial data projection system, the development of which is coordinated by NASA.

PlanetServer is one of the results of an international collaboration that takes place within the  EarthServer 2 research project. The project aims to implement a spatiotemporal big data management, analysis and imaging system. Other very important scientific services of this project refer to oceanographic data, climatic data, meteorological data, weather forecasts etc. The project’s ambition is to integrate hundreds of petabytes of data into an intercontinental distributed infrastructure. We should note that the project is on its way to completion (April 2018). The aforementioned infrastructure provides services that enable scientists to easily and quickly locate and process data through modern agile analytics tools.

The partnership behind the project is of particular interest, as the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and major global organizations such as the Australian National Computing Infrastructure (NCI), the European Center for Medium-term Forecasting (ECMWF) the Plymouth Marine Research Laboratory (PML) are only some of participants of this project. In addition to them CITE and two more European small and medium-sized enterprises are the project’s technology providers: the German rasdaman Gmbh and the Italian MEEO s.r.l. Finally, Jacobs University (Germany) is the coordinator of the project and the head of PlanetServer web service.

This work has been partially supported by the European Commission under grant agreement H2020 654367, “Agile Analytics on Big Data Cubes (EarthServer 2)”. For more information please visit the official project’s website (www.earthserver.eu)