NCSA 30 | NASA selects HDF for EOS program
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NASA selects HDF for EOS program

NASA selects HDF for EOS program

The idea was as simple as it was obvious: NASA wanted a single file format for the data that would stream in from the variety of instruments that would be part of the agency’s Earth Observing Satellite program. It took three years to choose from among the 15 options that were presented to the agency by research groups and companies around the country. When NASA finally made its choice, it landed on NCSA HDF, the center’s format for scientific data management that had debuted six years before.

The first EOS satellite, Terra, began streaming data back to Earth in 2000. Two others were launched subsequently. Each satellite delivers about three terabytes of data per day. They continue to offer new perspectives on the planet’s land, ecosystems, and life forms and to give insight into how these systems interact and influence each other.

NASA has also relied on HDF for a variety of other projects, include its Landsat satellites.