Our Next Meeting is scheduled for
Thursday, 10 January 2002
Bruce Barkstrom will be speaking on
Ada 95 Bindings for the Hierarchical Data Format (HDF)
Used for NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Data and Information System (EOSDIS)
at Lockheed Martin in Rockville, Maryland
This will be a joint meeting between the DC and Baltimore SIGAda Chapters
This presentation describes Ada95 bindings for HDF4 and HDF5, the current versions of the National Computational Sciences Alliance (NCSA) Hierarchical Data Format (HDF). These self-describing file formats are intended for storage of large, diverse collections of scientific data and for retrieving subsets of these data. The libraries also support data compression, chunking of large arrays, and automatic conversion of vendor-specific binary formats for a variety of data types.
HDF files are intended to provide self documenting storage of scientific data. This means that HDF provides structures that allow the file format to contain data about the file structure and descriptive information about the data contained in the file. By reading an appropriate sequence of data structures in the file, a data user can extract the information needed to understand the kind of data in the file, the size, shape, and data type of the arrays in the file, and even documentation about the file contents.
HDF is becoming widely used in scientific data holdings, such as those of NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Data and Information System - EOSDIS. At present, EOSDIS is adding about one TB per day to NASA’s Earth Science data holdings. In the near future, this rate will increase to about three TB per day. The EOS Project has directed NASA Principal Investigators to use HDF for the data format for all EOS missions. Thus, this data format is very important to the author (he is Instrument Principal Investigator for the investigation of Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System: CERES), as well as many of his colleagues.
Before becoming Head of the Data Center, Dr. Barkstrom was Instrument Principal Investigator for the EOS investigation of Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES), where he developed the CERES software system's architecture and data production logistics plans. In 1998 and 1999, Dr. Barkstrom spent a six month sabbatical supported by a NASA Langley Thompson Fellowship with the HDF Group at the National Computational Sciences Alliance (NCSA) in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, investigating the application of the HDF data format to problems arising from tracking cloud systems on a global basis.
Bruce R. Barkstrom
Mail Stop 420
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA 23681-2199
Phone: +1 (757) 864-5676
FAX: +1 (757) 864-7996
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Many thanks to all earlier participants, contributors, speakers, advisors, and friends, who are involved in helping to produce and attend the meetings.
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Jeff Castellow, Chair, DC SIGAda
updated 23 December 2001