COVERAGE seeks to demonstrate the utility of advanced software tools for processing and exploration of ocean data of different types. It also serves as proof of concept of the utility of cloud computing technology enabling improved access and more integrated usage of multivariate oceanographic data for science and applications.

COVERAGE leverages a cloud-enabled software stack developed under several NASA technology development projects, adapting them as necessary, and integrating these components also with other widely used open source technologies.  The result is a reusable platform for Earth science data and analytics; one that is scalable, with an enhanced set of capabilities allowing users to better search for, seamlessly access, visualize and work with high volume, heterogeneous satellite and in-situ data in a more coupled manner.

A further innovation is COVERAGE’s distributed system architecture.  This involves deployments of the project software at remote nodes operating within different cloud environments hosting the project’s US and European CEOS agency satellite data respectively.  The objective is to both minimize large scale, redundant data movements and demonstrate fusion of data across disparate computing infrastructures. Integration of in-situ holdings at select partner national oceanographic data repositories is a further novel aspect of our approach.

COVERAGE agency cloud platforms


The distributed architecture and network of collaborating data providers comprising the prototype COVERAGE system are summarized in the schematic figure below.

  • Simplified, integrated access to inter-agency satellite and in-situ data occurs via the COVERAGE Web portal through which a range of interactive tools and search, visualization, and analytics services are accessible.
  • Nodes hosting the COVERAGE software stack are at JPL and EUMETSAT running on their respective AWS and WEkEO cloud infrastructures.  These provide access to the target US and European ocean satellite data products as part of this proof of concept demonstration.
  • Dynamic connectivity between the JPL COVERAGE node and remote national data repositories hosting complementary animal telemetry in-situ data is also shown.  The latter include IMOS/AODN and CSIRO data centers in Australia and IOOS-ATN in the US.
  • The architecture also supports flexible integration of independent, smaller research group nodes, thus enabling direct contributions of valuable collections from a variety of sources to the global data commons.
  • Finally the figure shows the integration of other key in-situ datasets comprising the COVERAGE thematic demonstration application:  AIS products from Global Fishing Watch and species spatial catch and effort data from the four tuna inter-governmental Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs).  In future, once data interoperability constraints are alleviated, more automated acquisition of those collections from source will be possible.


COVERAGE is working closely with the communities of practice and GEO-MBON to address observed data standards compliance issues that are particularly acute for in-situ biological datasets.  This will facilitate the integration of additional data providers in COVERAGE and ocean observing data networks more generally in future.

COVERAGE distributed system architecture


COVERAGE implements a complementary suite of software components developed under several NASA technology projects.

Science Data Analytics Platform (SDAP)
JPL’s Science Data Analytics Platform (SDAP) provides a bridge between science data and horizontally scaling data analysis. It enables Web-accessible, fast data analysis on large scientific data archives to minimize data movement and provide access though a range of value-added data services. SDAP provides a generalized workflow for data tiling and storage in a scalable cloud database from which tiles can be quickly retrieved through high performance spatial search. Fast access to relevant to such data subsets enables efficient in-memory computation for performant analytics. SDAP serves as the computational engine underlying the COVERAGE  system.   [more]

Extensible Data Gateway Environment (EDGE)
JPL’s Extensible Data Gateway Environment (EDGE) is a data integration service designed to facilitate high-performance geospatial data discovery and access with the ability to support multi-metadata standard specifications. EDGE, an Apache Foundation incubator project, is being leveraged within the COVERAGE architecture to provide both data aggregation service and enterprise, spatially indexed search.   [more]

Common Mapping Client (CMC)
JPL’s Common Mapping Client (CMC) is a foundation for web-based mapping applications that leverages, combines, and abstracts certain commonly used mapping and charting functionalities, enabling developers to spend less time reinventing the wheel and more time solving their specific problems. Sitting somewhere between a starter-kit and a framework, CMC aims to fulfill the basic needs of a geospatial visualization application without getting in the way of any given project’s unique goals.  COVERAGE’s advanced Web-visualization tool is based on CMC.   [more]

OnEarth is a software package consisting of image formatting and serving modules.  These facilitate the deployment of a Web service capable of efficiently serving standards-based requests for georeferenced raster imagery (and vectors) at multiple spatial resolutions. OnEarth is essentially a GIBS server that can be run anywhere. The software was developed at JPL and has being deployed and repurposed in a variety of projects, including now for  COVERAGE, where it serves as the back-end imagery service for the project’s Web-based data visualization tool.   [more]

Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS)
NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) are designed to deliver global, full-resolution satellite imagery to users in a highly responsive manner, enabling interactive exploration of the Earth. GIBS provides quick access to over 900 NASA satellite imagery products, covering every part of the world, updated daily, spanning almost 30 years, that can be rendered in visualization web clients or GIS applications.   [more]

COVERAGE technology NASA sponsors

Cloud Infrastructure

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform offering flexible, reliable, scalable, cloud computing solutions including over 175 services from data centers globally.  The NASA Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program has adopted a strategic vision to develop and operate multiple components of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) in a commercial cloud environment such as AWS.  Running on AWS, COVERAGE serves both as a useful test case in support of this transition and as a useful demonstration of the potential value-added to users of the agency adopting this new computing paradigm.

WEkEO is the European Union’s Copernicus DIAS reference service for Marine, Atmosphere and Climate data, virtual environments for data processing and user support.  It is being implemented jointly by EUMETSAT, ECMWF and Mercator Ocean International.  WEkEO’s strength relies in its distributed data infrastructure and its extensibility given this federated architecture.  WEkEO leverages Morpheus, a leading cloud application orchestration platform designed for agnostic cloud management. For COVERAGE, WEkEO is being used to host our project software stack in a virtual cloud environment to provide compute and more direct access to the targeted EU Copernicus programme satellite datasets from the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS).  COVERAGE acknowledges this contribution from the EU Copernicus Programme through EUMETSAT, ECMWF and Mercator Ocean International.