Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST) Program
The objectives of the AIST program are to identify, develop and (where appropriate) demonstrate advanced information system technologies which:
- Reduce the risk, cost, size, and development time of Earth Science Division (ESD) space-based and ground-based information systems,
- Increase the accessibility and utility of science data, and
- Enable new observation measurements and information products.
The AIST Program is founded on technology needs for Earth science measurement, analysis, and application objectives. In 1999, ESTO sponsored a Request for Information and workshop involving the Earth and information science communities to help guide the definition of technology needs which resulted in the AIST Capabilities and Needs (CN) Database. The CN Database is referenced in AIST technology solicitations. In 2000, ESTO sponsored a technology projection workshop that assessed emerging information technology for space and ground use that resulted in the AIST Key Space and Ground Investment Roadmaps. In early 2002, another technology projection workshop was held to further refine and update the AIST Capability and Needs database as well as the Key Investment Themes (this 2002 version of the CN Database is available here, the current version is linked below). The roadmaps, coupled with analysis of nominal future Earth science scenarios, are used to provide weighting criteria for the CN Database, which is then refined to guide future NRA and other solicitations for technology development. In 2008, the goals and needs were updated and reviewed by members of the Earth science information systems community:
ESTO hosted a meeting with the AIST Principal Investigators in February 2010 to develop information systems technology roadmaps responsive to the National Research Council’s 2007 Decadal Survey (DS). The goal of this technology roadmapping workshop was to provide a foundation for identifying a set of capabilities needed to support NASA Earth science activities in the DS mission era and identify the enabling technologies for these capabilities. The final report is available:
Several other initiatives and programs within ESD provide technology drivers to the AIST Program. These include the current Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), the Earth Science Mission Operations (ESMO), the Instrument Incubator Program (IIP), the Earth Science Applied Science Program, the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation) and NASA's Earth Science Data System Working Groups (ESDSWG). The long-term goals of the ESD science focus areas also present significant technology challenges for information systems. Based on a cyclic analysis of technology need, AIST identifies and prioritizes ESD information technology goals.
Technology Infusion Opportunities
Many technology infusion candidates are targeted for AIST developments. ESD roadmapping activities are identifying science objectives, missions, and some technology drivers. This information is being expanded with insights on new missions, some currently in formulation, such as NPOES Preparatory Program (NPP), Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM), Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), and others. ESTO is especially interested in addressing the recommendations of the National Research Council’s Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, know as the “decadal survey”. Other initiatives and programs within ESD include EOSDIS , the ESIP Federation, ESMO, and ESDSWG.
The AIST program uses the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) as its investment vehicle. NRAs are used for both short and long-term research activities. Links to the full solicitations and awards are listed in the table and a brief summary of each solicitation follows below.
The AIST program uses the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) as its investment vehicle. NRAs are used for both short and long-term research activities. Links to the full solicitations and awards are listed in the table below.
|Solicitation||Link to Solicitation||Link to Awards|
|AIST ROSES 2011||Solicitation (135 K PDF)||Awarded Projects|
|AIST ROSES 2008||Solicitation (112 K PDF)||Awarded Projects|
|AIST ROSES 2005||Solicitation (432 K PDF)
|AIST Master NRA 2004||Solicitation (177 K PDF)|
|Mini-Solicitation NNG04ZY4001N (51 K PDF)||Awarded Projects|
| AIST NRA 2002
||Solicitation (998 K PDF)||Awarded Projects|
|AIST NRA 1999||Solicitation (227 K PDF)||Awarded Projects|
For a full list of ESTO investments, across all program lines, visit the Solicitations page.
The ‘Reconfigurable Sensor Networks for Fault- Tolerant In-Situ Sampling’ project team deployed a fleet of three SnoMote robots to test their mobile sensor network on Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska. The autonomous SnoMotes are designed to gather in-situ science data in dangerous, volatile ice environments in order to augment remote sensing data with accurate ground-truth measurements. The tests demonstrated the sensor network, which allows the SnoMotes to self-deploy and efficiently reconfigure themselves based upon local conditions and detected areas of interest. (image credit: M. Heavner)
2009 saw a dramatic increase in “major blowouts” of water mains in Los Angeles – above: a water main break on Coldwater Canyon Avenue which later caused a sinkhole. The L.A. Department of Water and Power asked scientists, including Andrea Donnellan of AIST's QuakeSim project, to evaluate the possibility that seismic activity might be the cause of the increase. Donnellan was able to report “some deviation from the normal range ground movement.” (image credit: I. Khan)