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Z2 - Computing services

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. George C. Craig, Dr. Christian Keil

Scientific Programmer: Dr. Robert Redl

The IT requirements in the first phase of W2W come in three categories:

  1. A majority of the research projects involve running and modifying numerical models, most importantly the COSMO weather prediction model.
  2. There is a need to share software tools and model output between investigators, often at different locations. This is motivated by individual collaborations, or among larger groups in the Cross-Cutting Activities.
  3. Many projects make use of external data sets and significant duplication of effort may be avoided by coordinating access and local storage.

A particular concern is that scientific programming often ignores or devotes little effort to the technical design of program code, including user interfaces, error handling, and often even documentation. Usually the code is intended to be used only within a small group of people with inside knowledge, sometimes even only the code writer himself. These shortcomings however seriously limit the propagation and lifetime of software.

Many scientists participating in W2W have already developed extension to NWP models for scientific purposes, mainly using the COSMO limited area model from DWD. It can be anticipated that these extensions will show different quality of coding, testing and documentation and may use different interfaces. In W2W it is planned to share code not only among a larger group of people but also to combine different software extensions to use them in the same model run. To make this feasible will form the technical basis for the CCA Ensemble Tools, and the interface to tools developed in CCA Visualization.

Within this service project a central code repository will be built and maintained, establishing modern standards of software engineering for simple exchange and use of NWP software. Additionally a data archive will be installed, postprocessing software will be adapted and a web server will be set up. Where possible, software will be made freely available under an open-source license.