We have a vision of creating a science-in-the-cloud environment by which users may go to a web page and run complex models in the cloud.   Today, people are able to do much of their word processing in the cloud via Google Docs.  From virtually any place on the planet with an Internet connection, users have access to their files for editing, viewing, sharing and publishing on the web.  No longer is it necessary to maintain word processing software on local computers, or to backup and transfer files from one computer to another.  The documents are all out there in the cloud, ready for access from any platform at any time and place.  We have a similar vision for scientific models - rather than trying to install and maintain local copies of models and data, they are simply "out there" in the cloud, accessible via web interfaces.

An evolving project is the deployment of the FLEXPART atmospheric dispersion model into a cloud environment.  Through the use of Amazon Web Services we have created our own FLEXPART modeling system configured with all necessary library dependencies.  A user could log in directly to the virtual machine and use the pre-configured environment, or they could use our developing web interface to select model parameters, run the model, and display output graphics.  In this way, users have the ability to do their modeling "in the cloud," from virtually anywhere in the world, from any device, not worrying about maintaining their own software environment to run these models.

A demonstration of the prototype is available at our flexCloud link.  Note, however, that we are currently only turning it on by request, or in advance of known viewing times.  Please contact us if you would like to try this out.

The following snapshots illustrate the FLEXPART model setup and subsequent plume of a hypothetical emission at the Bohunice Nuclear Power Plant near Trnava, Slovakia.  FLEXPART is a Lagrangian particle dispersion model used by a wide community of researchers and an increasing number of operational services.