The OSSE software provides an integrated end-to-end environment to simulate an Earth observing system by iteratively running a distributed modeling workflow based on the HyspIRI Mission, including atmospheric radiative transfer, surface albedo effects, detection, and retrieval for agile exploration of the mission design space.

The software enables an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) and can be used for design trade space exploration of science return for proposed instruments by modeling the whole ground truth, sensing, and retrieval chain and to assess retrieval accuracy for a particular instrument and algorithm design. The OSSE infrastructure is extensible to future National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey concept missions where integrated modeling can improve the fidelity of coupled science and engineering analyses for systematic analysis and science return studies.

This software has a distributed architecture that gives it a distinct advantage over other similar efforts. The workflow modeling components are typically legacy computer programs implemented in a variety of programming languages, including MATLAB, Excel, and FORTRAN. Integration of these diverse components is difficult and time-consuming. In order to hide this complexity, each modeling component is wrapped as a Web Service, and each component is able to pass analysis parameterizations, such as reflectance or radiance spectra, on to the next component downstream in the service workflow chain. In this way, the interface to each modeling component becomes uniform and the entire end-to-end workflow can be run using any existing or custom workflow processing engine. The architecture lets users extend workflows as new modeling components become available, chain together the components using any existing or custom workflow processing engine, and distribute them across any Internet-accessible Web Service endpoints.

The workflow components can be hosted on any Internet-accessible machine. This has the advantages that the computations can be distributed to make best use of the available computing resources, and each workflow component can be hosted and maintained by their respective domain experts.

This work was done by Michael J. Turmon, Gary L. Block, Robert O. Green, Hook Hua, Joseph C. Jacob, Harold R. Sobel, and Paul L. Springer of Caltech and Qingyuan Zhang of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at under the Software category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to NPO-47048.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) for the HyspIRI Spectrometer Mission

(reference NPO-47048) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the September, 2010 issue of Software Tech Briefs Magazine.

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