The Southwest Data Display and Analysis System (SDDAS) is a flexible, extensible software system intended to support analysis of space physics data from multiple instruments and multiple spacecraft missions. SDDAS was developed in response to the need of space scientists to be able to gain access to data and to display data, without concern about data management details, so that they can focus their efforts on scientific research.

SDDAS gives the scientists a software "toolbox" that can bridge the gap between data and scientific insight. SDDAS makes it possible to quickly display and analyze data in distributed archives from many different satellites and other sources by use of a diverse set of graphical application programs. Data can be ordered and delivered over the Internet, independently of the locations of archives and of the nature of the archival storage.

The graphical software tools are the heart of SDDAS and are oriented toward the examination of data in the Instrument Data File Set (IDFS) format, which is the subject of the preceding article. The development of SDDAS has been "bottom-up" rather than "top-down" and user-driven rather than organization-driven. SDDAS is adaptable to advances in computer technology; that is, it was designed to evolve in order to take advantage of new technology and changing users' requirements.

By using SDDAS, scientists can do a great deal of science without developing new software. The only preparation necessary for using SDDAS display and analyze data is to store the data in the IDFS format. In addition to enabling space scientists to focus more readily on research, SDDAS facilitates collaborative research through its flexibility, its emphasis on interactive analysis, and its capability for providing immediate access to data in globally distributed archives.

This work was done by Carrie Gonzalez, Joey Mukherjee, and Sandee Jeffers of Southwest Research Institute for Marshall Space Flight Center . For more information, contact the Southwestern Research Institute at (210) 522-2010. MFS-31327


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2000 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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