Advanced Information System Technology (AIST) Program

NASA is taking the first steps towards realizing Internet-like connectivity among its future Earth sensing satellites with the funding of 30 research proposals spanning across industry, academia, government, and NASA centers in Advanced Information System Technology.

Known as "Sensor Web," this is the first in a series of information technology research initiatives that will help NASA's Office of Earth Sciences to solve the massive challenge of collecting, processing, routing and storing Earth science measurement data. Of the 117 proposals submitted the 30 selected covered a variety of topics ranging from satellite on-board processing, data collection and analysis, information transmission and wireless networks, to satellite platform control.

"With the increasing number of Earth observing satellites planned over the next decade, Information Technology will be the key to collecting and distributing Earth science data and information products to the global science community," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Associate Administrator for Earth Sciences at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.

"The concept of integrating a constellation of Earth observing satellites into a cohesive network of measurement instruments is what we call the 'Sensor Web.' In concept it is similar to the Internet in that scientists and other users will have access to any on-orbit sensors and be able to direct and control those sensors in the same manner as we access information on the Internet today," Asrar said. "This activity exemplifies our commitment as an Agency to the development of cutting-edge technologies that will benefit our science community and the nation as a whole."

The "Sensor Web" concept also will take full advantage of the revolution that is taking place in information and telecommunications technologies for direct delivery of space-based Earth observations to the end-user at the cost of placing a long distance telephone call," according to Asrar.

Research funded by this program will proceed over a three-year period. During that time, a second increment of research projects will be initiated, focusing on other aspects of information technology essential to the next generation of Earth science missions. When fully implemented, an unprecedented amount of scientific data relating to the Earth's atmosphere, land and oceans will be available for study and public use.

NASA's Office of Earth Sciences is dedicated to the long-term study of how human-induced and natural changes effect our global environment.

The 30 research proposals selected by the Advanced Information System Technology program will have a total value of approximately $26 million over a three year period and will involve government, industry and university partners in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

The proposals selected are listed below:

Scott D. Lindell Lockheed Martin Astronautics
Real-Time Data Processing Onboard Remote Sensor Platforms

William S. Rabinovich Naval Research Laboratory
Cat's Eye Modulating Retroreflectors for Free Space Optical Data Transmission

Samuel J. Dolinar, Jr. Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Region-of-Interest Data Compression with Prioritized Buffer Management

Sara J. Graves University of Alabama Huntsville
EVE: An EnVironmEnt for On-Board Processing

Stephanie R. Sandor-Leahy TRW Incorporated
Real-Time, Reconfigurable Hardware for On-Orbit Processing of Earth Science Data

Braden E. Hines Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Advanced Infrastructure for Dynamic Instrument Reconfiguration and Autonomy Integration

Hamid Hemmati Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Multi-Gigabit/second Optical Communications Transceiver for Earth Science

John C. Waymire Maxwell Technologies Inc.
Reconfigurable Systems-On-A-Chip (SOC) Using The Universal Logic Element (ULE) For Spacecraft Usage

Janet C. Rountree Science Applications International Corporation
Optimized Compression for Earth Science Data Using JPEG 2000

Adrian J. Hooke Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Next Generation Space Internet Communications Services

Michael E. Botts University of Alabama Huntsville
Refinement and Testing of an XML- Based Sensor Model Language

Gary J. Minden The University of Kansas
Architecture for Space Based Internets

David E. Smith NASA Ames Research Center
Autonomous Planning and Scheduling of Remote Sensing Instruments for Earth Orbiting Satellites

Clay S. Gloster North Carolina State University
Hierarchical Algorithms and their Embedded in Realization in Reconfigurable Hardware

Andrew Berkuns Jet Propulsion Laboratory
FPGA-Based On-Board Processor/Controller for Satellite-Borne Precipitation Radars

Richard S. Orr ITT Industries
Fault-Tolerant Low Power Transceiver (LPT) Design for Reconfigurable Communications

Scott A. Hauck University of Washington
MATLAB-Based Adaptive Computing for NASA Image Processing Applications

Tien-Hsin Chao Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Advanced Holographic Memory

Yoaz E. Bar-Sever Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Precise Global Real-Time Onboard Navigation Capability for Earth Science Remote Sensing

Lonnie Welch Ohio University
Adaptive Management of Computing and Network Resources for Real-Time Sensor Webs

Payman Arabshahi Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Intelligent Sensor and Satellite Networks for Earth Science and Exploration

Jerome Miller Goddard Space Flight Center
On-Board Cloud Contamination Detection with Atmospheric Correction

Patrick H. Stakem QSS Inc., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
FlightLinux Operating System for Use with Spacecraft Onboard Computers

Pen-Shu Yeh Goddard Space Flight Center
On-Board Instrument Data Processing on a Reconfigurable Processor

William D. Ivancic Glenn Research Center
Transport Protocols for Space-Based Internets

Seamus T. Tuohy Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
Mission Manager for Supervisory and Autonomous Satellite Operations

Tom D. Milster University of Arizona
Development and Testing of Ultra High Density Fast Readout Optical Storage for Earth Science Enterprise Space Missions

Scott A. Hauck University of Washington
Reconfigurable Computing Based Compression for Spaceborne Hyperspectral Images

Carl S. Mills NASA Langley Research Center
Adaptive Data Analysis and Processing Technology (ADAPT)

Earl Fuller Pico Dyne Incorporated
Ultra-Low Power Radiation Tolerant Reconfigurable FPGA's