The Space Environment Information System (SPENVIS) had been under continual development since 1996 for ESA by BIRA, providing the world community with an on-line resource for evaluating the space environment. SPENVIS-4 is a World Wide Web based interface to a comprehensive set of models of the space environment. It has been operational for more than ten years now and has a mature international user community of about 2000 registered users who use the system for various purposes, e.g. mission analysis and planning, educational support, and running models for scientific applications.
Within the ESA/GSTP-5 programme, funding has been provided for the development of a next generation of this resource. The informatics technology available today has evolved considerably from what was state of the art in 1995, where web servers were limited to basic html pages and cgi-scripts. Within the scope of this development the framework and models of the SPENVIS system will be reviewed, restructured and reengineered using current web design techniques and programming methodologies, providing a new, extensible and open framework for the integration of current and future space environment models.
Distributed architectures for space data analysis and collaborative engineering have been investigated through several ESA activities (SAAPS, SEDAT, VISPANET, SEPEM, REST-SIM) from which potential requirements and solutions for the SPENVIS-5 project may emerge. The advantages of a distributed approach are that the resources are acquired, developed and maintained at an "expert centre" where the competences and necessary supporting facilities reside and are available as needed by a "coordination node" in response to end-user needs and in compliance with any access restrictions that may apply. The new system is foreseen to be operated in the context of ESA's SSA programme.
- SPENVIS-NG presentation (European Space Weather Week 8, Namur 2011)