Tech Briefs

NASA Experiment Designer: A Tool for Running Scientific Workflows

The NASA Experiment Designer (NED) is a client-server application that enables end-to-end support for driving long-running scientific computer simulations such as climate and weather models. The tool provides a friendly, single point of entry for configuring parameters associated with the workflow for model experiments and related preprocessing/postprocessing tasks.

Users of the tool easily initiate, monitor, and control tasks involved in the execution of model workflows. Additionally, NED allows workflows to be paused and resumed at each phase of a simulation. The NED tool also recalls previous experiments, manages concurrent workflow executions, and provides logging and status updates throughout the progression of a workflow.

Although the tool was developed to handle scientific workflows in medium-security environments such as the NCCS (NASA Center for Climate Simulation) at Goddard, it can be installed on most systems with a Java Runtime Environment. It is not limited to scientific use, and is customizable for a variety of computing applications and target platforms.

The NED tool has been deployed for several climate and weather models at GSFC (Goddard Space Flight Center). Most significantly, numerous production-level Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) experiments were performed here using the tool, generating no fewer than 25 TBs of output data over the past four years. GMI is part of the NASA Modeling, Analysis and Prediction program, and is involved in assessing anthropogenic impacts, such as those from aircraft, future changes in atmospheric composition, and the role of long-range transport of pollution.

The innovators found that using NED has had a positive impact on productivity. Notably, it is far easier to manage concurrent simulations with the NED tool than without. At least 40% more data per year was generated here in the past two years than in previous years.

This work was done by Gail McConaughy of Goddard Space Flight Center; and Shawn Freeman, Robert Burns, and Megan Damon of Northrop Grumman. GSC-16166-1

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

NASA Experiment Designer: A Tool for Running Scientific Workflows (reference GSC-16166-1) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

Please Login at the top of the page to download.