Title of Paper: Optimized Compression for Earth Science Data Using JPEG 2000

Principal Author: Dr. Janet Rountree

Abstract: The space-based and ground-based sensors planned by the Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) will acquire huge volumes of data that must be transmitted, stored, and processed. Some reduction in these data sets is necessary if the end user is to receive a manageable quantity of useful information. Therefore it is evident that data compression is a key technology for ESE missions in the near-, mid-, and far-terms.

JPEG 2000, a wavelet-based algorithm, is being promulgated by the International Standards Organization (ISO) as the next industrial standard for image data compression. It is both more efficient and more flexible than its predecessor, JPEG. It performs both lossless and lossy compression at a user-selectable compression ratio.

Under a previous contract with NASA’s Explorer Technology program, SAIC developed a "scan-based" (low memory) implementation of JPEG 2000 Part I, the most basic form of the algorithm. JPEG 2000 Part II, which is currently being finalized by ISO, contains many features of particular interest for Earth Science applications. These include special wavelet filters and decomposition trees for SAR data; single-sample overlap wavelets for artifact reduction; trellis-coded quantization for highest visual quality; and multiple component decorrelation for hyperspectral data. In this project, we will incorporate these Part II features into the scan-based implementation of JPEG 2000.

The project will continue by testing the optimized software on Earth Science data in a laboratory environment. The software will then be ported to a flight simulation environment and tested there. The goal is to advance the technology from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to TRL 5 in three years.