Sunday, May 13, 2012

Progress on the Geothermal Data System

Last week the Dept. of Energy held their annual Peer Review in Denver for all federally-funded geothermal projects.  Our project review was given more time to present because of the scope and complexity of bringing digital data in from 44 states as nodes on a national distributed network.  The AZGS project, run by us on behalf of the Association of American State Geologist, has the largest funding from DOE of 170 or so projects in the nation.   The reviews by the panel are expected in the next few weeks.  Last year, reviewers described it as one of the best run in the nation.
The bigger challenge was the "Go/No-Go" review by DOE of the National Geothermal Data System run by Boise State University.    That project has had numerous problems and delays and was shut down in 2010 by DOE to develop a redirection plan.  That was finally adopted one year ago and last week's review was to determine if it's working.  If not, the project could be terminated.

AZGS is the subcontractor to design and build the system architecture.   That has been successful as evidenced by our deployment of it among the 50 state geological surveys as an operational national data network, arguably  the first-such network in the geosciences.     BSU, however, has been unable to implement and deploy the network among its partners or to build the user interface and desktop applications.   In the last three weeks, BSU seems to have recognized that progress has not met expectations.  They are now bringing in a number of private sector firms to help get the project on track.    Over the next two weeks all the project members will be rescoping their work plans and budgets to accommodate these changes.

AZGS will need to get the new project members up to speed on the data integration framework using the open-source standards and protocols we've implemented. The new proposal for the user interface looks to be a powerful tool.

All DOE-funded projects are required to submit their data into the NGDS for public access.    Thus far, only a handful have been able to do so.

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