New Mexico State University's community data portal uses Unidata's Thematic Real-time Environmental Distributed Data Services (THREDDS) Data Server and Repository for Archiving, Managing and Accessing Diverse Data (RAMADDA) server applications. The portal makes data sets that have been archived at NMSU's Center for Applied Remote Sensing in Agriculture, Meteorology and Environment (CARSAME) and New Mexico Climate Center available to the public.
A 2011 Unidata Community Equipment Award allowed us to increase the availability of near real-time satellite, numerical weather prediction model output, and surface weather station data to the environmental sciences community locally and throughout the region. Our data portal is growing and currently we have archives of CFSv2 data, WRF initialized with NAM data, and LANDSAT imagery.
To increase our storage capacity, we custom-built a storage server similar to the Backblaze Storage Pod. This server was built from individual components including power supplies, processors, memory chips, boot hard drives, RAID controller, CPU cooling fan, 5-bay backplane case, 4U server enclosure, heat sinks, and miscellaneous cables and hardware. The total storage amount for data and imagery is about 100 TB.
Equipment award funds were also used to purchase a Supermicro 4-CPU machine with a total of 48 cores. We are using this new machine to provide data processing and web service.
One of the primary purposes of the portal is to serve the education and research community — not only at New Mexico State University but regionally and across the border into Mexico. For example, the data served on the portal is used in a newly offered Introduction to Air Pollution ES 460 course in our Environmental Sciences department at NMSU. In this course we investigate the impacts of meteorology on air quality through the study of past events. We visualize data using Unidata's Integrated Data Viewer (IDV). We use the RAMADDA application to store case studies that can be viewed and used by students and other interested researchers at NMSU and by the community. Our data portal will also be a key component of any climate related course we offer at NMSU.
One research group taking advantage of this archive is studying wind erosion and air quality in the southwestern US. Several faculty members at New Mexico State University, the University of Texas El Paso, and Texas Tech have active research projects in the study of the sources and transport of dust in the Chihuahuan Desert region. These projects have made extensive use of our infrared and visible NOAA AVHRR and GOES imagery to determine dust plume boundaries.
Access to NMSU's THREDDS Data Server is available at: http://cirrus.nmsu.edu:8080/thredds/. Access via RAMADDA is available at http://cirrus.nmsu.edu:8080/repository. Links to the data portal this will also be available from http://weather.nmsu.edu in the near future.
For more information on the Unidata Community Equipment Awards program, see the Equipment Awards page.