CHORDS Cloud-Hosted Real-time Data Services

Funded by the National Science Foundation EarthCube initiative, EOL/DMS has been leading the development of the EarthCube Cloud-Hosted Real-time Data Services for the Geosciences (CHORDS) project. The importance of real-time scientific data is ever increasing, particularly in mission-critical scenarios, where informed decisions must be made rapidly.

The goal of CHORDS is to investigate and further enhance the role of real-time data within the geosciences, seeking specifically to work with teams that are generating diverse data types and investigating the potential of streaming data sources in enabling adaptive experimentation and real-time hypothesis testing being undertaken at university departments. CHORDS has built a community of users who are configuring and using a prototype version of the CHORDS Portal in several areas of the geosciences, exposing the concept to small instrument teams. The future plans include connecting the real-time streams of data accessible through CHORDS to archives, models and complex scientific workflows through community standards.


Collaborations and Partners

The CHORDS Building Block is a collaborative effort between EOL/DMS, the University of Huntsville in Alabama, the University of Michigan, Colorado State University and SCRIPPS at the University of San Diego.


The CHORDS Portal Prototype

A tangible outcome of our work is prototype implementation of the CHORDS architecture. Designed to be easily deployable and configurable, the CHORDS Portal prototype is very easy to install on Amazon Web Services and through simple URLs input allows storage and retrieval of real-time time-series data. More information on the chords portal is available on the CHORDS Portal Website.


Use Cases

There are already several deployed instances of the CHORDS portal being put to use by the community:


Ongoing Development 

In March of 2016 a second EarthCube proposal was funded to continue the development of CHORDS technology. This second proposal aims to improve the functionality and usability of the CHORDS portal prototype, including the ability to store and retrieve more complex data types such as radar and imagery. The proposal will test CHORDS in an atmosphere/hydrology use-case to aid flood prediction in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. A new partner, Virginia Tech, will expand CHORDS to use GPS/GNSS data. 


"CHORDS has been a great resource for our USAID supported project to build low-cost weather station in developing countries.  We have designed a weather station that uses 3D printers, micro-sensor, and single board computer technology that will be delivered to international hydromet departments.  In testing our prototype system, we have installed stations in remote locations such as the NOAA Testbed Center and the NCAR field test site.  We have integrated CHORDS into the real-time monitoring of these sites.  Access to the tools in CHORDS (graphing, data downloads) allows us to monitor the performance of each site and quickly identify when instrument and/or communication problems that occur.  Our NOAA colleagues find CHORDS very useful for monitoring observations and for downloading data subsets for comparison with reference sensors at the Testbed sensor.  We also installed an instance of CHORDS for our first deployment of a pilot network in Zambia.  The sites in Zambia are transmitting data back to CHORDS in real-time.  For the first time ever, we are able to monitor the operations of the network remotely.  This access has helped minimize downtime of the instrumentation.  When a system goes offline, we are able to contact our local partners to check on the weather stations and troubleshoot.  Instead of waiting for many months to check if a station is working, we can identify a problem within a few hours.  We hope that CHORDS will continue for an extended time so we can continue to take advantage of the system's capabilities."

Paul Kucera
Project Scientist
Joint Numerical Testbed