Presentation Open Access

MetaSat. An open, collaboratively-developed metadata toolkit to support the future of space exploration.

Bouquin, Daina; Chivvis, Daniel

MetaSat is an open metadata toolkit for describing small satellite (and even large satellite) missions in a uniform and shareable way. Optimised for small satellite missions, MetaSat fills an informatics gap. Although there have been a number of relevant metadata sets, there has been a longstanding need for a vocabulary to span these community standards. A vocabulary to annotate the data and information outputs of these satellite missions, to enable search across disparate data repositories, and provide support for application of analytical services to retrieved datasets.

A common problem among small satellite teams is finding information about how other small satellites were put together, what parts worked well, what weren't compatible, what were the mission goals and outcomes. A lot of this information can be found, but it's not usually described in a consistent and searchable way across projects. MetaSat helps by building a uniform language of description which can be embedded into small satellite databases and tools to connect information across projects.

Although a relatively new vocabulary initiative, MetaSat has secured early adoption by SatNOGS, a global network of ground stations that collects, manages & enables access to satellite observations. Also partnering with NASA's Small Satellite Reliability Initiative, and in discussion with NASA concerning implementation of the vocabulary in other areas of its information infrastructure.

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