HELIO – Services and Workflows for the Heliophysics Integrated Observatory

Csillaghy, André

Heliophysics is a new science exploring the Sun-Solar System connection. It spans the existing domains of solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric and ionospheric physics. Heliophysics influences the environments studied by the planetary and geosciences and also has relevance for the astrophysics community.

HELIO is an e-Infrastructure project funded by the European Union 7th Framework Program. It develops services to support integrated access to metadata and data from the domains that constitute heliophysics. It also develop services to explore and mine the data space spanned by the information providers of the domains. Building up on these services, it constructs complex queries, for instance to find observations that track phenomena as they propagate through interplanetary space and affect the planetary environments.

The infrastructure is based on a service-oriented architecture. It is designed to support locating and retrieving of data associated with the desired observations. Services in development are divided into four categories: catalog services (what phenomena are interesting?), instrument location services (what instruments observed the phenomena?), data access services (where are the associated data?), and advanced services (what can I do with these data?). A registry service allows keeping track of the resources managed by the infrastructure.

HELIO services are established as stand-alone, so they can be used individually. Nevertheless, constructing complex queries requires combining services into workflows. The workflow orchestration tool used is called Taverna. To combine the resources from the different heliophysics communities, HELIO uses a semantic-driven approach which describe the relationships between the domains involved, therefore avoiding to impose a specific name space.

HELIO is in its 2nd year of development. At this time, the basic services are available and being tested. For instance, the Heliophysics Event Catalog compiles an exhaustive list of solar phenomena. Focus is increasingly given on constructing classes of workflows able to address specific science objectives.

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