Heliophysics Integrated Observatory


The HELIO Infrastructure has been developed to allow the user to address a number of questions related to Heliophysics:
  • Has anything interesting happened; what, when and where?
  • How has it evolved with time?
  • Could it be related to any other phenomena; if so, then how?
  • Are there any observations from suitably placed spacecraft that help me understand the evolving phenomena?
  • How can I gain access to the selection of observations that I need?

The services that have been established provide the types of capability that we believe might be needed to address these questions; they can be grouped into three areas:

  • Services used to search for, track and relate interesting events and phenomena
  • Services used to identify, locate and retrieve useful observations
  • A number of underlying, enabling services that facilitate the process

The searches are based on metadata but what information is required and how it will be used depends on the science problem being addressed and the user. Because it is not possible to identify all events a priori, the Data Evaluation Service (DES) can be used to examine time-series data and determine whether something has occurred, given knowledge of the time and location. The Context Service (CXS) can be used to create and access quick-look data to aid the process while a propagation tool allows phenomena to be tracked.

The tools that identify suitable observations are designed to remove the need for the user to know about where and how data are stored; they allow the user to select the types of observation that they need to address a particular point and the system then locates and retrieves data that match the search criteria. As part of the process of determining whether it is worth pursuing a particular event, a user may be interested in the the variety of observations available as well as the time coverage and quality of the data.

The split between the tasks should therefore not be considered as rigid and the design of HELIO makes it possible to use services in whatever order is required. Its also possible to included extra services to provide additional functionality.

The services can addressed through the HELIO Front End and can also be orchestrated using a scripting language (IDL/SolarSoft or Python/SunPy) or the Taverna Workflow Tool.

Interfaces to the HELIO Services are provided – highlights include:

Last updated: 4th May 2015