The PITHIA-NRF e-Science Centre – towards a Cloud-based Platform to support Ionosphere, Thermosphere, and Plasmasphere Research

Tamas Kiss, University of Westminster

The PITHIA Network of Research Facilities (PITHIA-NRF) project, funded by the European Commission’s H2020 programme, aims at building a distributed network, integrating observing facilities, data collections, data processing tools and prediction models dedicated to ionosphere, thermosphere and plasmasphere research. One of the core components of PITHIA-NRF is the PITHIA-NRF e-Science Centre that supports access to distributed data resources and facilitates the execution of various scientific applications on cloud computing infrastructures. The development is led by the University of Westminster, in strong collaboration with EGI. When designing and implementing the e-Science Centre, we follow a novel approach, based on the dynamic creation and instantiation of cloud-based reference architectures composed of multiple application components or microservices, described in the form of a deployment descriptor, that can be automatically deployed and managed at run-time. A reference architecture can include various components, such as generic or custom GUIs, data analytics, machine learning, simulation or other scientific applications, databases, and any other components that are required to realise a particular user scenario. This presentation focuses on the design principles of the e-Science Centre and demonstrates proof-of-concept cases studies.

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