BEAM meets SeaDAS

Recently the BEAM development team of Brockmann Consult visited the NASA Ocean Color Group in order to figure out a possible collaboration between the SeaDAS and the BEAM project. All participants felt that the meeting was very worthwhile and even exceeded the expectations.

Mark Ruebens, who is leading the SeaDAS development, explained that NASA has plans to modernise the SeaDAS user interface. BEAM has been selected as a possible candidate to serve as a platform for a new SeaDAS user interface.

The BEAM development team gave an overview of the BEAM architecture and outlined the possibilities the BEAM development platform and the VISAT user interface offers. Special SeaDAS requirements and their realization using BEAM have been discussed in detail. A number of constraint requirements have been identified and addressed during the discussions:

  1. The SeaDAS software shall retain its identity and development plans, and shall neither  evolve into a clone of BEAM nor appear as a plug-in to BEAM.
  2. The new SeaDAS user interface must still be able to call the external Ocean Color / Sea Surface Temperature Level 2 processor and other tools written in C and other programming languages.
  3. SeaDAS users should still be able to use the Interactive Data Language (IDL) which is currently an integral part of SeaDAS for writing scripts, perform band arithmetic and to perform batch mode (bulk file) processing.

Both teams agreed on a collaboration within a new, common open-source project and now looking forward kicking it off. The new project has the aim to develop software components both helping the SeaDAS team to migrate their current user interface to BEAM but also enrich the BEAM development platform by new functionality such as

  • external software invocation and data exchange API (calling programs written in C or IDL from BEAM/VISAT),
  • batch mode (bulk) processing and data export and IDL scripting.
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