I received a request from Greg Babinski, URISA Past President, to post this request from URISA to its members.
URISA has the honor of being included in an interesting and important project being conducted by NASA. This is the “National Interests Review” for a number of satellite science missions. These are specialized satellite missions, all of which will soon be or are already passed their planned operating dates and are being supported in extended mode. The purpose of this review is to gather information from a wide array of individuals and organizations that have used or which have in interest in the data from these missions. The specific missions include: ACRIMSAT, CALIPSO, GRACE, QuikSCAT, TRMM, Aqua, CloudSat, Jason-1, SORCE, Aura, EO-1, Jason-2/OSTM, Terra. A brief description is provided below and hyperlinks are provided if you would like to get more information about them. You will see that these satellite missions, for the most part, do not include the types of most interest to the majority of URISA members (moderate and high-resolution land imaging systems). Rather they focus on the gathering of information on atmospheric and ocean conditions and sun radiation measurements useful for examining climate change, land cover trends, and related global variables.
I’d like to get input from you—even if you have not used data from these missions. I will be attending a 3-day session with NASA on April 9-11 with other panel participants (representing various Federal agencies and professional associations) so I need your input as a basis for preparing recommendations for the future continuance of these missions. This information will become input for NASA’s budget requests for its Earth Science program. I’d like to get a response to the questions below by April 2. That’s a tight deadline but I hope you can make this a priority. I may follow-up with some of you to ask additional questions.
1. Are you familiar with any of the listed satellite missions (even if you have not used data from them)? If so, which ones?
2. Have you used or plan to use data from any of the satellites? If so, provide a brief summary of the data use (when, for what purpose, results)
3. Even if you have not used data from these missions, please provide comments about your opinion value of continuing these missions. This may relate to the potential use or indirect value for your organization or just general value for the nation or world.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to your response.
Peter Croswell, PMP, GISP
President, Croswell-Schulte IT Consultants
406 Winners Circle, Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 320-9055 (cell)
NASA SATELLITE MISSIONS
National Interests Review Panel
For more information, contact Pete Croswell:
firstname.lastname@example.org, (502) 320-9055
ACRIMSAT (http://acrim.jpl.nasa.gov/) (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/details.php?id=5855)
Latest in series of satellites for solar monitoring using the Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM) I instrument.
Aqua is a major international Earth Science satellite mission centered at NASA. Launched on May 4, 2002, the satellite has six different Earth-observing instruments on board and is named for the large amount of information being obtained about water in the Earth system from its stream of approximately 89 Gigabytes of data a day. The water variables being measured include almost all elements of the water cycle and involve water in its liquid, solid, and vapor forms. Additional variables being measured include radiative energy fluxes, aerosols, vegetation cover on the land, phytoplankton and dissolved organic matter in the oceans, and air, land, and water temperatures.
Aura Mission (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/aura/main/index.html)
A mission dedicated to the health of Earth's atmosphere. Launched on May 4, 2002, the satellite has six different Earth-observing instruments on board and is named for the large amount of information being obtained about water in the Earth system from its stream of approximately 89 Gigabytes of data a day. The water variables being measured include almost all elements of the water cycle and involve water in its liquid, solid, and vapor forms.
CALIPSO (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/calip ... index.html)
CALIPSO provides the next generation of climate observations, drastically improving our ability to predict climate change and to study the air we breathe. the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) spacecraft studies the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth's weather, climate and air quality. Launched in 2006 with CloudSat
CloudSat (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cloud ... index.html)
CloudSat's cloud-profiling radar is 1,000 times more sensitive than typical weather radar and can detect clouds and distinguish between cloud particles and precipitation. Launched in 2006 with the CALIPSO satellite.
Earth Observing-1 (http://eo1.gsfc.nasa.gov/)
As the first New Millennium Program Earth Observing Mission, EO-1 has validated advanced land imaging and unique spacecraft technologies. EO-1 has validated a multispectral instrument that is a significant improvement over the Landsat 7 ETM+ instrument; has validated a hyperspectral land imaging instrument and the unique science that can be performed with hyperspectral data.
Second mission under the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Program in May 1997. Launched in March of 2002, the GRACE mission is accurately mapping variations in Earth's gravity field. Designed for a nominal mission lifetime of five years, GRACE is currently operating in an extended mission phase, which is expected to continue through at least 2015.
Jason 1 (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/jpl/missions/jason.html)
Jason-1 is the first follow-on to the highly successful TOPEX/Poseidon mission that measured ocean surface topography. It is an oceanography mission to monitor global ocean circulation, study the ties between the oceans and atmosphere, improve global climate forecasts and predictions, and monitor events such as El Niño conditions and ocean eddies.
Jason 2 (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ostm/ ... index.html)
The Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 is an international satellite mission that will extend into the next decade the continuous climate record of sea surface height measurements begun in 1992 by the joint NASA/Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Topex/Poseidon mission and continued in 2001 by the NASA/CNES Jason-1 mission.
QuikSCAT mission is intended to record sea-surface wind speed and direction data under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans. QuikSCAT was initiated as a "quick recovery" mission to help reduce the ocean-wind vector data gap created by the loss of the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) on the Japanese Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS)
Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) (http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/index.htm) - The Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) is a NASA-sponsored satellite mission that is providing state-of-the-art measurements of incoming x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation. The measurements provided by SORCE specifically address long-term climate change, natural variability and enhanced climate prediction, and atmospheric ozone and UV-B radiation. These measurements are critical to studies of the Sun; its effect on our Earth system; and its influence on humankind. The SORCE spacecraft was launched on January 25, 2003.
Terra (http://www2.hawaii.edu/~jmaurer/terra/) -Terra is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary partnership between the U.S., Canada and Japan that is an important part of helping us better understand and protect our home planet. Terra collects data about the Earth’s bio-geochemical and energy systems using five sensors that observe the atmosphere, land surface, oceans, snow and ice, and energy budget. Each sensor has unique features that enable scientists to meet a wide range of science objectives. The five Terra onboard sensors are: a) ASTER, or Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, b) CERES, or Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System, c) MISR, or Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, d) MODIS, or Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, d) MOPITT, or Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere.
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) (http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/) - TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall. TRMM is a research satellite designed to help our understanding of the water cycle in the current climate system. By covering the tropical and semi-tropical regions of the Earth, TRMM provides much needed data on rainfall and the heat release associated with rainfall. It will not single-handedly provide the solution to the climate change debate - it will, however, contribute to our understanding of how clouds affect climate and how much energy is transported in the global water cycle. In coordination with other satellites in NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, TRMM will begin the process of understanding the interactions between water vapor, clouds and precipitation that is central to regulating the climate system.