Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) are specialised data centers used to process, archive, document, and distribute data from NASA’s past and current Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). DAACs specialise in specific Earth Science disciplines and provide data products, data information, user services, and tools unique to its own speciality.
DAACs play two major roles in the Earth Science Enterprise; they provide solutions for small scale specific needs as well as join together as part of a much larger system focussed on a larger more diverse task. They are task specific, built to focus on long term distribution and maintenance focussing on the archive of data and data products. The primary tasks of a DAAC include,
- Providing the back end interface for space borne sensors.
- Providing data products from sensed and available data.
- Re-processing data with changes with respect to errors and improvements in processing algorithms.
DAACs are designed to work for about 15 years, say during a satellite program, at the height of its data collection and data processing activities. Additionally they may also house data sets which are decades old! As compared to data centers, DAACs have the following differences:
- Different core constituencies
- Demand based Information system.
- Hosted by many institutions, private or government.
- Large size variations.
- Different readiness requirements.
- Each has a unique data management system.
- Trained operators for handling sophisticated equipment and managing mission critical data.
DAACs are mission critical and used only in research and storage of important unobtainable data. Only about 12 DAACs exist as of today. Most DAACs today belong to NASA and are located in the United States.
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