The Engineering Node has expertise in information system development and operations. A critical focus is providing support to the PDS Discipline Nodes and the scientific community to deliver reliable and useful software tools and services that can run in a variety of environments. As a result, the Engineering Node is committed to following a traditional lifecycle for system development. This includes:
- Development of a high-level architecture
- Technology/concept development
- Requirements identification and analysis
- Detailed/component design
- Unit and System Testing
- Configuration Management
- System Release
The PDS system is designed around a standard information model for planetary science. The Engineering Node leads the PDS Data Standards group which develops and evolves the overall standards, consistent with the information model, so that data acquired across missions, instruments and disciplines can be archived and distributed in a common way.
The Engineering Node also develops a number of general tools for generating, validating, archiving and distributing PDS data products. The PDS has developed an integrated information infrastructure called "PDS-D" which connects distributed, planetary science archives into a virtually integrated information system for access and distribution of PDS resources.
In addition, the PDS Engineering Node provides data engineering support to the projects to ensure that the PDS standards are consistently applied and that the overall data management goals of PDS in preserving, accessing and distributing data in a cross-disciplinary manner can be achieved.
The PDS Engineering Node also performs a number of technology investigations in the areas of large-scale data movement, semantic architectures (ontologies/models, search, reasoning), distributed web/grid systems, and multi-disciplinary scientific information systems. Several of these are published in book chapters, conference papers and white papers and are being pursued and leveraged through partnerships with other funding sources.
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