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IU innovations continue to help NASA manage big data

NASA's Operation IceBridge mission wraps up its spring flight season this week, gathering radar data about Earth's polar ice sheets to help scientists better understand global climate change. Experts from IU have once again played a key role in the mission's success. As the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice, the twice-yearly IceBridge missions generate massive amounts of data - all stored and archived by IU's research cyberinfrastructure.

As NASA's Operation IceBridge mission wraps up its spring flight season, it is gathering radar data about Earth's polar ice sheets to help scientists better understand global climate change. Experts from IU have once again played a key role in the mission's success. As the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice, the twice-yearly IceBridge missions generate massive amounts of data - all stored and archived by IU's research cyberinfrastructure.

For the past four years, IU Research Technologies has provided IT support for the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center led by the University of Kansas.

"Essentially, IU has built a supercomputer that can fly," said Rich Knepper, manager of IU's campus bridging and research infrastructure team within Research Technologies. "During this current mission, our system provided analysis of radar data as the data was collected - in real time -- allowing mission scientists to see the ice bed information as the plane flies over the Arctic."