Envisioning the Future of CASEI

Beginning in 2018, the Airborne Data Management Group (ADMG) within IMPACT faced a formidable challenge: build a “centralized airborne data discovery tool” to serve as a portal for all, yes all, data products from historical and current NASA airborne campaigns and Earth Science field investigations. Like any team working on a major project, ADMG team members started by establishing a broad vision for the structure and functionality of the tool, crafting goals and timelines to guide and propel them forward. Soon the Catalog of Suborbital Earth Science Investigations (CASEI) took shape, and the beta version of CASEI launched in June of 2021.

Airborne data user communities soon began to reap benefits of consolidated access to information about NASA’s airborne campaigns, platforms, and instruments. Prior to CASEI, researchers had to consult multiple Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) websites to seek relevant data products, navigating different user interfaces and search tools. However, with streamlined access to all NASA airborne and field investigation science data through CASEI, researchers can now find and access data more efficiently.

The next phase of CASEI construction involved adding individual data product associations, enhancing metadata, and refining search features. In November 2022, the ADMG team participated in a series of planning sessions which they called the “CASEI Future State Workshop” to reflect on their progress so far and define how they will prepare CASEI for future evolution and maintenance. ADMG team member and Development Seed designer Heidi Mok facilitated the sessions for the entire project team, including project leads (Stephanie Wingo and Deborah Smith), designers, developers, and data curators. Using a visual collaboration platform called “Miro”, Heidi led conversations and collaborative activities that helped team members realign on the project vision, establish clarity about immediate next steps for the non-beta release of CASEI, and develop plans for future maintenance.

When asked to share a highlight of the workshop, Heidi described the “Vision Story” about CASEI that they produced in their first session:

One of our aims was to focus on the value proposition of CASEI as a whole instead of its parts and pieces. During this one hour session, the team imagined that CASEI (the current software system made up of a UI website, MI content management, a relational database, and APIs) was a person — named Casey. Who is Casey? What is Casey’s mission? What are Casey’s values? What does Casey’s community look like? What makes Casey different?

Reimaging CASEI as “Casey” inspired the ADMG team to characterize the role CASEI serves in supporting airborne data user communities. The exercise also allowed them to more clearly identify opportunities to achieve product stability prior to promoting CASEI to broader scientific communities. As a result of workshop participation, the ADMG team is eager to further enhance several CASEI features.

Next year will be busy for the ADMG team as they finalize new modifications to CASEI. Some of the planned upgrades include incorporating additional ways for users to view and filter data products and improving the maintenance interface for CASEI curators to work more efficiently with the database. The team anticipates announcing a full, public launch in the first half of 2023. Reaching this milestone will be a prominent accomplishment, but the team plans to continue adding more campaigns, platforms, and instruments to CASEI to establish it as a premier resource for airborne science data.

You can explore airborne scientific data products via CASEI and provide feedback.

More information about IMPACT can be found on the NASA Earthdata and IMPACT project websites.

ADMG Team LinkedIn Profiles:
Heidi Mok
Stephanie Wingo
Deborah Smith
Shelby Bagwell
Jillian Ethridge
Tammo Feldmann
Ed Keeble
Anthony Lukach
Ashlyn Shirey
Eli Walker
Camille Woods
Carson Davis



This is the unofficial blog of the Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team.

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IMPACT Unofficial

This is the unofficial blog of the Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team.