// Science Partnerships 

Supporting NASA’s mission to expand human knowledge through new scientific discoveries, the NCCS collaborates with its NASA science user groups in creating and managing a computing environment optimized for large-scale modeling, data assimilation, and data analysis and visualization.

Global Modeling & Assimilation Office (GMAO)

GMAO Mission: The GMAO focuses on maximizing the impact of satellite observations in climate and weather prediction using comprehensive global models and data assimilation.

Partnership: GMAO and NCCS work closely together to engineer specific systems of high-performance computing and storage for enabling the next-generation global weather forecast model for NASA science research and mission support.

NCCS Support: Serving as the prime computing platform for the GMAO, the NCCS provides immediately available resources on its Discover supercomputer for running 10-day global weather forecasts every 6 hours; arranges early access to new Discover scalable units for ultra-high-resolution global simulations; pays special consideration for scheduling maintenance, upgrades, and other activities that might affect the timeliness of GMAO forecasts; and enables forecast data distribution through the NCCS DataPortal.

Customizable Virtual Ope...

How the speed of data processing and freedom for environment customization on ADAPT's virtual machines allowed for more precise...


Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE)

ABoVE Mission: ABoVE is an 8—10-year NASA field campaign being conducted in Alaska and Western Canada to study environmental change and its implications for social-ecological systems.

Partnership: The NASA Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office and the NCCS have partnered to create a high-performance science cloud leveraging emerging technologies to accelerate the pace of new Arctic science for researchers participating in the ABoVE field campaign.

NCCS Support: The NCCS Advanced Data Analytics Platform (ADAPT) includes a science cloud hosting data services and products, database capabilities, remote visualization, high-performance computing, and high-speed and high-capacity storage for the nearly 600-member ABoVE Science Team. The NCCS also makes available substantial resources on its Discover supercomputer for processing high-resolution digital surface models.

Accelerated Data Process...

How co-located data projected onto multiple Virtual Machines on ADAPT radically saved time, effort, and resources for ABoVE's study on...


Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)

GISS Mission: GISS predicts atmospheric and climate changes in the 21st century by combining analysis of comprehensive global observational datasets with global models and studies past climate change on Earth and other planets to assess understanding of the atmosphere and its evolution.

Partnership: GISS and the NCCS collaborate in ensuring that a robust set of computing, storage, and data sharing technologies are available for GISS simulations focused on studying the human impact on the climate as well as the effects of a changing climate on society and the environment.

NCCS Support: The NCCS provides extensive high-performance computing and mass storage resources for ongoing GISS research, expands resource allocations as needed to accommodate hundreds of decades- to centuries-long simulations for the recurring Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), and hosts CMIP data distribution through the NCCS Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) Node.

Vegetation Monitoring and Biomass Estimation

Vegetation Monitoring & Biomass Estimation Mission: Starting with the vast Sub-Saharan region of Africa, NASA and collaborators are developing new technologies to analyze the highest-resolution satellite data available to create the first-ever biomass estimate showing the amount of carbon stored in the vegetation.

Partnership: Through an agreement between the NASA Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. universities are working with the NCCS to gain rare access to and analyze data from NGA satellites observing Earth’s surface in exquisite detail to capture and better understand changes in varied regions around the globe.

NCCS Support: The NCCS supplies access to enhanced nodes on its Advanced Data Analytics Platform (ADAPT) with high-density memory to handle the myriad input/output operations required, cost-effective “cloud bursting” into commercial services for data processing and analysis beyond ADAPT’s capabilities, and high-speed wide-area networks for data transfers.

NASA Global Weather...

How flexible access to supercomputing resources on Discover enabled doubling the forecast model’s spatial resolution and...


NASA-Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF)

Mission: NU-WRF is an observation-driven regional Earth system modeling and assimilation system at satellite-resolvable scale. A key component of NU-WRF is the Land Information System (LIS).

Partnership: The NU-WRF and NCCS teams collaborate on building a computational modeling environment to enhance a leading regional weather forecast model through coupling with land surface modeling and data assimilation, with applications ranging from predicting seasonal water changes in the U.S., Middle East, and Africa to studying the effects of aerosols and trace gases on regional climate and air quality.

NCCS Support: NCCS technical staff members keep in regular contact with the NU-WRF and LIS teams, the latest model version is always installed on the NCCS Discover supercomputer to ensure availability to users at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and beyond, and the NCCS DataPortal hosts forecast data and imagery for efforts such as the Famine Early Warning Systems Network and multi-agency field campaigns.