Improved access to instruments and data

The research potential of the various upper atmosphere observatories together is much greater than of all observatories individually, especially when simultaneous observations can be planned. Each instrument provides a specific view on the upper atmosphere and plasmasphere.

However, the instruments are maintained by different organizations, with different access procedures and requirements. This makes the organization of simultaneous measurements difficult. Each instrument is programmed differently, and has its own output data format. After the observations, large data sets must be downloaded, converted and synchronized, before the scientific analysis can start.


Access to research instruments is hindered by multiple access points, different access procedures, difficulty to schedule simultaneous measurements, large data sets to transfer and dissimilar output data formats to synchronize and process.


To drastically improve this situation, several European observatories have got together to organize common access to their instruments. The solution is found in the creation of a common e-science centre, that provides integral access to all instruments, regardless of the location of the instrument and the organization that maintains it.

This will be realized in the coming years (2021-2025) in the project Plasmasphere Ionosphere Thermosphere Integrated Research Environment and Access services: a Network of Research Facilities (PITHIA-NRF). This project is funded by the European Commission.


The PITHIA-NRF E-Science Centre will provide integral access to many instruments, data sets and models.


This is a long-term solution

While the project will end in 2025, the PITHIA e-Science centre will continue to provide access to space weather instruments for researchers after that date.

The following observatories participate in this initiative:


The upper atmosphere and plasmasphere observatories participating in the PITHIA-NRF E-Science Centre.



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