Science information infrastructure and data base for the polar sciences
Director Akira KADOKURA
Various observations on a range of research fields are now being carried out both in the Antarctic and Arctic regions. Many of the data obtained by the observations are transferred via a network and stored in digital form. The quality and amount of the data are continually growing, as the observation methods and technologies become more sophisticated and network speed grow faster. The Polar Data Center (PDC) in the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) has two main tasks. One is to operate science infrastructure for observations and data, and the other is to construct a database for scientific data.
At present, NIPR and Syowa Station in Antarctica are constantly networked via an Intelsat satellite link, and the data from Syowa are directly transferred to NIPR through this network via a high-speed LAN in the station.
The "Multipurpose Satellite Data Receiving System" at Syowa is operated by PDC, and data from various earth observation satellites are received and transferred to NIPR.
The transferred data from Syowa are stored in the "Polar Science Data Library System (POLARIS)" in NIPR, and transferred to researchers in collaborating universities and institutes via the Science Information Network (SINET). Many of the observation data in the Arctic region are also transferred to NIPR directly via an Internet connection.
The "Polar Science Supercomputer System" is also operated in PDC for processing and analyzing observation data and for doing large-scale numerical modelings and simulations for polar sciences.
Information on data and observations (metadata) are archived in the "Science Database". Databases both for observation data themselves (actual data) and for general information about research and management in NIPR (general data) are also constructed by PDC.