The German Satellite Data Archive (D-SDA) at EOC contains irreplaceable data from current and historic earth observation missions. In order to continue safeguarding these data as well as the data of thousands of users, while at the same time streamlining access to DLR data and services, a new user data management system has been instituted.
IT-security and data protection have increased in importance. So the new system upholds security standards like multi-factor authentication and robust password encryption and secures user data at an exceptionally well-protected location. The central authentication server impedes hacker attacks and makes possible rapid and efficient countermeasures.
The new system will also allow Single-Sign-On (SSO) by users, who can then access various data portals and services through a single account. Laborious administration of numerous passwords becomes a thing of the past. Conceptually, use of the new systems is not limited to the services of D-SDA. ESA users can already connect via federated-SSO.
The incorporation of the new user data management system in a distributed software environment during ongoing operation of a multi-mission ground segment was a great feat for the team that required lengthy, elaborate planning. Twenty-five scientists and engineers developed the new user data management system, adapted D-SDA systems components, and integrated them between 14 and 16 May in operational D-SDA systems. Over 20 software components at three different DLR locations had to be shut down and newly configured in concerted action. This effort immediately affected the operation of the multi-mission ground segment, including the ordering and delivery of satellite images and elevation models from the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X missions.
A great sigh of relief was heard when the first processors started up again after the two-and-a half-day operation on the open "software heart" of D-SDA early in the afternoon of 16 May and the first data orders and deliveries began to pulse through the system.