NASA Lidar Access System (NLAS)

NASA This project is funded by the NASA ROSES ACCESS Program to develop a NASA Lidar Access System (NLAS) to serve laser altimetry data from the NASA space-based ICESat system and the airborne LVIS platform through the OpenTopography system. The goal of the project is to provide integrated access to existing NASA lidar data products, as well as on-demand processing capability, and enhanced QA/QC metrics to make these data more easily accessible and usable to a range of scientists. New web services will connect the NASA data archives at Goddard Space Flight Center (LVIS) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (ICESat) to the OpenTopography portal and the data and processing capabilities available there. Integration of these distributed data archives via an easy to use web portal will enhance exposure of these data and significantly streamline user access. The NLAS project is a collaboration between UNAVCO, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, OpenTopography at San Diego Supercomputer Center, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Project Summary:

Science Data Systems for Satellite and Airborne Lidar Data

2009 IceBridge Mission NASA LVIS System Crane Glacier Mapping The large volumes of data and derivative products produced by the forthcoming NASA DESDynI and ICESat-2 satellite missions will stretch the limits of the data management and processing capabilities of existing Earth science data systems. Access tools for DESDynI data will need to address the diverse requirements of the scientific community who will use these data to study deformation of the solid Earth and cryosphere and vegetation structure. They will also need to serve the application community’s requirements in equally diverse areas ranging from earthquakes and glacier surges to wildfires and deforestation. For these hazards applications there is a requirement for timely, easy access to higher level, low latency, products in common data formats via simple to navigate web-interfaces. Recent Cyberinfrastructure developments, when integrated into existing Earth science data systems, can provide a framework for distributed data access and enhanced processing capability. To develop this capability ahead of the DESDynI and ICESat-2 missions, we propose to implement a system that enhances access to existing lidar data sources hosted at the National Snow and Ice Data Center DAAC, Goddard Space Flight Center LVIS Data Center, UNAVCO, and the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC). Satellite LiDAR data from ICEsat, high altitude airborne lidar data from LVIS, and low altitude airborne lidar from the UNAVCO and SDSC's extensive Earthscope catalog will be incorporated into the OpenTopography Portal. This system provides integrated access to high-resolution lidar point data and on-demand processing capability for user-specified topographic data products. New web services will connect the NASA data archives at GSFC/LVIS and NSIDC to the OpenTopography portal and the other datasets available there. Integration of these distributed data archives via an easy to use web portal will enhance exposure of these data and significantly streamline user access.

Project Objectives:

  • Define enhanced quality control metrics and a standard data format for point data and waveforms to improve evaluation of data quality, data usability, and to make NASA Lidar products more accessible to end users who commonly use commercial lidar software packages.
  • Provide an integrated system for web services-based access to distributed archives via the mature OpenTopography Portal data access interface in order to improve the ease with which users can access point cloud and waveform lidar data, on-demand digital elevation models (DEMs) generation, and derivative products and visualizations.
  • Establish standard web service layers for ICESat/GLAS at the NSICD and LVIS data obtained from GSFC that will provide a standardized data access interface to these data.