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Jennifer KingAug 9, 20234 min read

Seal Storage & University of Utah NASA climate data partnership

Over 200TB of NASA climate data is now accessible through the collaboration between Seal Storage Technology and the University of Utah's Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute (SCI), enabling researchers around the world to access and visualize the data with zero egress fees.


TORONTO and SALT LAKE CITYApril 12, 2023 - In an effort to democratize data access, decentralized cloud storage provider Seal Storage Technology and the University of Utah's Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute (SCI) announced today that over 200 terabytes  (TB) of OpenViSUS IDX NASA  atmospheric wind velocity and ocean current datasets are now openly available to researchers globally. The data will be accessible via a Jupyter notebook, which is a digital document that makes it easy to access and visualize data by combining text, code, and visualizations in a single medium. This project is part of SCI's participation in The National Science Data Fabric  (NSDF), a trans-disciplinary approach to integrated data delivery and access, democratizing data-driven scientific discovery through shared storage, networking, computing, and educational resources.

"The democratization of data is essential to scientific progress, and we are thrilled to partner with the University of Utah to make this possible," said Seal Storage Technology COO Alex Altman. "Seal's decentralized cloud storage platform ensures that this valuable data is accessible to researchers around the world, without barriers. We are excited to see the future discoveries and insights that will be made possible by making this important data available and by supporting the mission of NSDF."

Researchers around the globe will now be able to access the NASA OpenVisus data with zero egress fees as the data is stored on Seal's decentralized cloud storage platform, which is powered by the Filecoin network. Egress fees are typically charged by centralized cloud storage providers when users want to move or access their data. In contrast, decentralized cloud storage leverages distributed ledger technology to store data at centers across the globe, offering a novel way to store data and remove egress fees. This global distribution ensures that the NASA data is immutable, verifiable, and has a chain of custody.

NASA climate data visualization from NSDF (CNW Group/Seal Storage Technology)

NASA climate data visualization from NSDF (CNW Group/Seal Storage Technology)

The data democratization partnership will provide researchers with new ways to access and utilize NASA's climate data, including navigation via timestamps, fields, and other dimensions. This is made possible by transferring the data from NASA supercomputers to Seal's platform, which then enables the data to be accessed via a Jupyter notebook. 

"The NSDF project is making significant progress towards more open access to critical cyberinfrastructure," said Manish Parashar, Director of the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute. "Having shared data cyberinfrastructure at scale, such as what NSDF envisions, can accelerate scientific discovery across a broad range of disciplines. It can also broaden access to the data by new groups of researchers." 

This dataset is an output of a simulation that combines two models to provide high-resolution data on atmospheric and oceanic variables. The first model is a C1440 configuration of Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) atmospheric model, whereas the second model is a LLC2160 configuration of the MITgcm model. There are over 10000 timesteps in each output, and each of them has multiple scalar fields such as temperature, snow thickness, east-west velocity, etc. With the help of Jupyter notebooks, researchers are now able to navigate across all timesteps and dimensions of certain fields (e.g. East-west velocity 'U') of both the atmospheric dataset and LLC2160 ocean dataset.

"This is a major milestone of the National Science Data Fabric (NSDF) that gives all scientists, engineers, and regular citizens direct access to massive data of major societal importance without needing expensive hardware resources," said Valerio Pascucci, NSDF Principal Investigator, Professor at Kahlert School of Computing, and Director of the Center for Extreme Data Management and Visualization (CEDMAV) at the University of Utah. "This partnership between academia and industry shows how anyone with a laptop and an internet connection can now visualize and analyze data that until now has been the sole monopoly of a selected few with the special access and training needed to use some of the largest supercomputers in the world."

Researchers can access the NASA data on the following web dashboard or visualize the data locally by downloading the Jupyter notebook here:

The current 200TB of data constitutes the first installation of this ambitious multi-petabyte project demonstrating the feasibility of the NSDF-SEAL data democratization initiative.

About Seal Storage Technology
Seal Storage Technology is a decentralized cloud storage platform that provides immutable, affordable, and sustainable data storage. Seal serves universities, research institutes, and enterprises using the highest standards for data security and protection. All data centers are enterprise-grade and powered by renewable energy.  Twitter | LinkedIn

About Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute (SCI) at the University of Utah
The Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah is an international leader in solving complex, transdisciplinary research problems having broad societal impact through innovation in computer, computational and data science.

About Filecoin
Filecoin, the world’s largest decentralized storage network, enables users to store, request, and transfer data via a verifiable marketplace. Filecoin’s advanced technology provides a robust foundation to store the world’s most valuable datasets. An alternative to costly cloud storage, the Filecoin network offers efficiently priced and geographically decentralized storage, minimizing financial barriers and allowing users to take advantage of its unmatched network capabilities. Filecoin is completely open source, enabling people from all over the world to participate. For more information about Filecoin, please visit