ITR/AP+IM: Information Processing for Integrated Observation and Simulation BAsed Risk Management of Geophysical Mass Flows
Abani Patra Principal Investigator
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Real-time Environmental Observation and Forecasting Systems (EOFS) will revolutionize the way scientists share information about the environment and represent an opportunity to break traditional information barriers separating scientists from society at large. EOFS are already in use, but they tend to be small-scale, application- and domain- specific, stand-alone systems. There is a need for evolution towards multi-purpose shared systems designed to adapt flexibly to evolving needs of information consumers. What is required are large-scale, shared, heterogeneous distributed systems that make extensive use of diverse sensor-based inputs, sophisticated numerical simulations, mobile and embedded real-time system components, wireless and wired communications, high-performance computers, and high capacity storage systems. <br/><br/>This ITR medium project has assembled an inter-disciplinary team, including computer science and environmental science researchers in addition to a heterogeneous base of pilot users. This group will collaborate to develop software technology which will enable EOFS to evolve efficiently, and to deliver quantifiably reliable information about the environment at the right time and in the right form to the right users. The project focus is on EOFS for estuarine and coastal regions. These regions are selected because they are highly variable natural systems subject to intense human activity and with great social, environmental, economic and cultural value.<br/><br/>The research will include:<br/><br/>i. Developing missing integration concepts and technologies for EOFS, with emphasis on quality-scalable information processing, storage and access (the computer science research).<br/>ii. Closing the loop between environmental models and sensors, and implementing a next generation EOFS based on an existing prototype for an estuary with multiple and often conflicting uses (the environmental observation and forecasting systems research);<br/>iii. Using, evaluating and refining the EOFS prototype for scientific discovery, natural resources stewardship and emergency response, thus incorporating sound science in operational and management decisions of critical regional importance and national significance (the environmental science and management applications);<br/>iv. Developing pilot multi-level, inter-disciplinary educational programs that cross-train young people, computer scientists, environmental scientists and practitioners in the conceptualization, development and use of environmental information technology (the education impact).