Earth Science Enterprise
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IGARSS 2002 Materials

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Science Session Papers and Presentations

  • An Earth Science Vision for 2025: NASA's Perspective   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  01_06_13:40

    Authors:  P. Hildebrand, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; M. Schoeberl, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; W. Wiscombe, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; M. Albjerg, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; J. Kaye, NASA Headquarters; G. Paules, NASA Headquarters; D. Petersen, NASA Ames Research Center; C. Raymond, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; M. Mlynczak, NASA Langley Research Center; T. Miller, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; R. Miller, NASA Stennis Space Center.

    Abstract: The NASA Earth Sciences Vision defines a future paradigm of scientific understanding and prediction capability for 20 years hence. Under this new paradigm, the ever-changing Earth system and its major facets—the climate system, weather, the biosphere, and the solid earth,—will be accurately observed and understood well enough to make predictions of climate change, severe weather, ecosystems changes as well as limited predictions of earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Predicting Long-term Climate Change   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  01_06_14:00

    Authors:  D. Rind, NASA/GISS; R. Somerville, University of California, San Diego; P. Gleick, PAC Institute; C. Milly, US Geological Survey; D. Hillel, University of Massachussetts; C. Rosenzweig, NASA/GISS; C. Kummerow, Colorado State University; W. Abdalati, NASA Headquarters.

    The prospects of continued population growth and long term climate change have raised the likelihood of alterations in water availability during the 21st century. This issue has the potential to be the greatest challenge facing societies, with consequences for a wide range of activities, ranging from population dynamics to agricultural and energy production, with geopolitical implications. At this point in time, we have little ability to project the likely regional changes as a function of time in water availability, water quality, or changes in their variability. Given the global nature of the problem and the hydrologic cycle, this is a particularly appropriate task for NASA's Earth Science Vision:  Long term Climate Change activity. To improve our capability to provide meaningful predictions, we must develop better remote sensing techniques for monitoring all aspects of the hydrologic cycle, understand the factors contributing to differences in large scale and regional climate models,  compare observations and model predictions during the next two decades, and be able to quantify the consequences of the projected changes. These various components, as well as the current status of our understanding will be discussed.
  • Biological Diversity: A Challenge in Ecological Forecasting   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  01_06_14:20

    Authors:  J. Schnase, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; J. Smith, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; T. Stohlgren, US Geological Survey; S. Graves, University of Alabama; C. Trees, NASA Headquarters.

    Abstract:  The spread of invasive species is one of the most daunting environmental, economic, and human-health problems facing the United States and the World today. It is one of several grand challenge environmental problems being considered by NASA’s Earth Science Vision for 2025. The invasive species problem is complex and presents many challenges. Developing an invasive species predictive capability could significantly advance the science and technology of ecological forecasting.
  • Understanding Sea Level Changes   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  01_06_14:40

    Authors:  B. Chao, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; T. Farr, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; J. LaBrecque, NASA Headquarters; R. Bindschadler, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; B. Douglas, Florida International University; E. Rignot, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; C. Shum, Ohio State University; J. Wahr, University of Colorado.

    Abstract:  Sea level change occurs on all time scales, depending on the type of change in question. It also occurs with a continuous range of spatial scales--local, regional, and global. To understand and be able to eventually predict sea level changes is a truly interdisciplinary endeavor. It requires geodetic and non-geodetic measurements of various types from space as well as in situ, while various numerical models for a number of meteorological and geophysical processes or properties are essential or relevant.
  • Understanding and Responding to Earthquake Hazards   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  01_06_15:00

    Authors:  C. Raymond, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; P. Lundgren, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; S. Madsen, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; J. Bundle, University of Colorado.

    Abstract:  Understanding the earthquake cycle and assessing earthquake hazards is a topic of both increasing potential for scientific advancement and social urgency.  A large portion of the world’s population inhabits seismically-active regions, including the megacities of Los Angeles and Mexico City, and heavily populated regions in Asia.  Population growth will exacerbate the potential for huge earthquake-related casualties.  However, powerful new tools to observe tectonic deformation have been developed and are being deployed with encouraging results for improving knowledge of fault system behavior and earthquake hazards.  In the future, the coupling of complex numerical models and orders of magnitude increase in observing power promises to lead to accurate targeted, short-term earthquake forecasting.  Dynamic earthquake hazard assessments resolved for a range of spatial scales (large and small fault systems) and time scales (months to decades) will allow a more systematic approach to prioritizing the retrofitting of vulnerable structures, relocating populations at risk, protecting lifelines, preparing for disasters, and educating the public. The suite of spaceborne observations needed to achieve this vision has been studied, and the derived requirements have defined a set of mission architectures and enabling technologies that will accelerate progress in achieving the goal of improved earthquake hazard assessments.
  • Planning of the Integrated Global Strategy (IGOS) - An Ocean Theme Example
    IGARSS  01_06_16:40

    Authors:  E. Lindstrom, NASA Headquarters.

      Over the last few years the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Partners have planned for implementation of global observing systems by adoption of a thematic approach. The first "pathfinder" theme of IGOS is the Ocean Theme. The planning document for the ocean theme was published in January 2001 . This provides a vision for ocean observing over the next15-20 years. It is anchored by the dual implementation of an operational ocean observing system using both remote sensing and in situ components and by the continued evolution of the system through robust research and development of "next generation" technologies for ocean observation. Realizing this system involves considerable international cooperation and coordination in strategic planning. NASA’s contribution to the Ocean Theme of IGOS is one component of an overall NASA strategy for the development and evolution of Earth Science Vision in the early 21st century.

Technical Session Papers and Presentations

  • A Web of Sensors: Enabling the Earth Science Vision   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_08:20

    Authors:   E. Torres-Martinez, NASA Earth Science Technology Office; M. Schoeberl, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; M. Kalb, Global Science & Technology, Inc.

    Abstract:   Highly coordinated  coordinated observations and autonomous decision-making are needed to improve our ability to detect, monitor, and predict weather; climate; and the onset of certain natural hazards. The ‘sensorweb’ concept has been proposed as a potential solution to this requirement. This paper presents two candidate uses for the concept, describes its capabilities and unique architectural properties, and outlines challenges to overcome for successful development of a sensorweb architecture. The conclusion proposes that the primary challenge to implementation of sensorwebs—beyond the obvious technical obstacles—will be our ability to develop and execute a long-term strategy that provides for the deployment of a series of compatible missions that deliver the full promise of envisioned sensorweb capabilities.
  • The Afternoon Constellation: A Formation of Earth Observing Systems for the Atmosphere and Hydrosphere   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_08:40

      M. Schoeberl, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Abstract:  Two of the large EOS observatories, Aqua (formerly EOS-PM) and Aura (formerly EOS-CHEM) will fly is nearly the same inclination with 1:30 PM ±15 min ascending node equatorial crossing times. Between Aura and Aqua a series of smaller satellites will be stationed:  Cloudsat, CALIPSO (formerly PICASSO/CENA), and PARASOL. This constellation of low earth orbit satellites will provide an unprecedented opportunity to make atmospheric cloud observations. This paper will provide details of the science opportunity and describe the sensor types for the afternoon constellation.
  • GIFTS – The Precursor Geostationary Satellite Component of a Future Earth Observing System   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_09:00

    Authors:  W. Smith, NASA Langley Research Center; F. Harrison, NASA Langley Research Center; D. Hinton, NASA Langley Research Center; H. Revercomb, University of Wisconsin; G. Bingham, Utah State University; R. Petersen, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; J. Dodge, NASA Headquarters.

    Abstract:  The Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) combines advanced technologies to observe surface thermal properties and atmospheric weather and chemistry variables in four dimensions. Large area format Focal Plane detector Arrays (LFPAs) provide near instantaneous large area coverage with high horizontal resolution. A Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) enables atmospheric radiance spectra to be observed simultaneously for all LFPA detector elements thereby providing high vertical resolution temperature and moisture sounding information. The fourth dimension, time, is provided by the geosynchronous satellite platform, which enables near continuous imaging of the atmosphere's three-dimensional structure. The key advances that GIFTS achieves beyond current geosynchronous capabilities are:  (1) the water-vapor winds will be altitude-resolved throughout the troposphere, (2) surface temperature and atmospheric soundings will be achieved with high spatial and temporal resolution, and (3) the transport of tropospheric pollutant gases (i.e., CO and O3) will be observed. GIFTS will be launched in 2005 as NASA's third New Millennium Program (NMP) Earth Observing (EO-3) satellite mission, and will serve as the prototype of sounding systems to fly on future operational geosynchronous satellites. After a one-year validation period in view of North America, the GIFTS will be repositioned to become the Navy’s Indian Ocean METOC Imager (IOMI). In this presentation we describe the GIFTS technology and provide examples of the GIFTS remote sensing capabilities using aircraft interferometer data. The GIFTS is an important step in implementing the NASA Earth Science Enterprise vision of a sensor web for future Earth observations.
  • Stratospheric Satellites for Earth Science Applications   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]   [Movie]
    IGARSS  02_06_09:20

    Authors:  A. Pankine, Global Aerospace Corporation; K. Aaron, Global Aerospace Corporation; M. Heun, Global Aerospace Corporation; K. Nock, Global Aerospace Corporation; W. Wiscombe, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; B. Maham, Virginia Polytechnic Institute; W. Su, NASA Langley Research Center.

    Abstract:  We present a concept for global and regional constellations of low cost stratospheric satellites based on Ultra Long Duration Balloon (ULDB) and StratoSail® Trajectory Control System (TCS) technologies. Stratospheric Satellites (StratoSat™ platforms) will be moved around the globe by stratospheric winds (at the height of 35 km – above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere, virtually "at the edge of space"), have some maneuvering capabilities, and have a multitude of Earth Science applications, such as measuring profiles of concentrations of ozone and trace constituents, monitoring Earth magnetic field ozone and trace constituents, monitoring Earth magnetic field and radiative fluxes, tracking hurricanes, and monitoring global weather and climate. Networks of StratoSat™ platforms can be configured to provide independent observations and to validate the NASA Earth Science Vision. The StratoSat™ platforms utilize a small amount of trajectory control to meet observation objectives. This capability allows for rapid adaptation of network configuration to observational needs. The network can be configured to provide observations with a desired frequency over specific target areas, such as the tropics or Polar Regions. We describe the design of StratoSat™ platforms, potential mission scenarios and payloads, and potential network configurations.
  • L1 and L2 Observatories in the Post-2010 Era   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_09:40

    Authors:  W. Wiscombe, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; J. Herman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; F. Valero, Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

    Abstract:  Twin observatories 1.5 million km from Earth along the Earth-Sun line offer revolutionary possibilities for Earth observation and scientific progress.
  • Lightweight Deployable UV/Visible/IR Telescopes   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_10:20

    Authors:  F. Peri, Jr., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; M. Hagopian, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; M. Lake, Composite Technology Development, Inc.

    Abstract:  The vision of the Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established a variety of science challenges for the next 20 years, relating to predictions of weather, climate, and foreseeable changes in the Earth’s environment. In this paper, we discuss the attendant needs for space-based, lightweight deployable telescopes for a variety of science challenges. In addition, we suggest some strategies for deploying the necessary assets.
  • Needs for an Intelligent Distributed Spacecraft Infrastructure   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS 02_06_10:40

    Authors:  C. Raymond, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; J. Bristow, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; M. Schoeberl, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Abstract:  Future Earth Science observing systems will involve multiple space assets and capable models to advance understanding and enable prediction of Earth system variables. There are several types of distributed spacecraft architecture that contribute to an overall integrated sensor web future vision. Many technologies needed to enable the Vision essentially mimic commercial developments in the electronics, network and communications industry, suggesting that low-cost, capable micro-spacecraft will be realized in the near future. Spacecraft autonomy and capable compact sensor suites represent the most significant investments that will decrease cost and improve the capability and reliability of sensor webs.
  • Needs for Communications and Onboard Processing in the Vision Era   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_11:00

    Authors:  F. Lansing, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; L. Lemmerman, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; A. Walton, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; G. Bothwell, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; K. Bhasin, NASA Glenn Research Center; Glenn Prescott, NASA Headquarters.

    Abstract:  NASA's New Millennium Program (NMP), in conjunction with the Earth Science Enterprise Technology Office, has examined the capability needs of future NASA Earth Science missions and defined a set of high priority technologies that offer broad benefits to future missions, which would benefit from validation in space before their use in a science mission. In the area of spacecraft communications, the need for high and ultra-high data rates is driving development of communications technologies. This paper describes the current vision and roadmaps of the NMP for the technology needed to support ultra-high data rates downlink to Earth. Hyperspectral land imaging, radar imaging and multi-instrument platforms represent the most demanding classes of instruments in which large data flows place limitations upon the performance of the instrument and systems. The existing and prospective Data Distribution (DD) modes employ various types of links, such as DD from low-earth-orbit (LEO) spacecraft direct to the ground, DD from geosynchronous (GEO) spacecraft, LEO to GEO relays, multi-spacecraft links, and sensor webs. Depending on the type of link, the current data rate requirements vary from 2 Mbps (LEO to GEO relay) to 150 Mbps (DD from LEO spacecraft). It is expected that in the 20-year timeframe, the link data rates may increase to 100 Gbps. To ensure such capabilities, the aggressive development of communication technologies in the optical frequency region is necessary. Current Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) of the technology components for space segment of communications hardware vary from 3 (proof of concept) to 5 (validation in relevant environment).

    Development of onboard processing represents another area driven by increasing data rates of spaceborne experiments. The technologies that need further development include data compression, event recognition and response, as well as specific hyperspectral and radar data processing. Aspects of onboard processing technologies requiring flight validation include:  fault-tolerant computing and processor stability, autonomous event detection and response, situation-based data compression and processing. The required technology validation missions can be divided in two categories:  hardware-related missions and software–related missions. Objectives of the first kind of missions include radiation-tolerant processors and radiation-tolerant package switching communications node/network interface. Objectives of the second kind of missions include autonomous spacecraft operations and payload (instrument-specific) system operations
  • Evolving Ground Systems Architecture Requirements for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_11:20

    Authors:  J. Duda, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; J. Mulligan, NOAA/NESDIS; J. Henegar, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Abstract:  The Integrated Program Office (IPO) is developing a ground system architecture for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) because requirements cannot be accommodated by current technology. Increased data rates, increase processing complexity, and more stringent latency requires another approach. In this paper, we discuss the rationale behind the challenging requirements, in which direction the requirements are evolving, and how the NPOESS ground system architecture might be related to the NASA Vision of a Web of Sensors.
  • MODIS Direct Broadcast and Rapid Response Capabilities: Getting Information to Operational Decision-makers   [ Presentation Download Powerpoint presentation ]
    IGARSS  02_06_11:40

    Authors:   J. Dodge, NASA Headquarters; P. Coronado, Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Abstract:  Initially, the researchers who designed the EOS satellite sensors wanted to study primarily climate-scale environmental variability to search for long-term trends.  NASA had experience helping NOAA with direct broadcast reception and interpretation of their environmental data to assist global customers in making short-term decisions regarding tropical cyclone tracks, remote fire locations, oil spill extents, regional weather forecasting and warning, flooding, and many other catastrophic natural events. It was decided to include a direct broadcast capability for the EOS Terra and Aqua data streams.  NASA stimulated the design of lower-cost X-band receiving systems for the new, high-volume EOS data, and now there are more than 50 stations worldwide, developed and installed by a variety of commercial remote sensing companies.  The data is free, and NASA maintains websites with free downloadable software to decode, calibrate, and navigate the data. The variety and quantity of this new data is an experience even for seasoned direct broadcast recipients.  NASA is working to obtain a Software Usage Agreement which will enable the free distribution of the wide variety of EOS product software.  Currently, some scientists around the world are applying algorithms based upon those for recent prior satellite sensors, and the results are encouraging. One simple product is a 3-band composite image made up of red, green, and blue channels from MODIS, and it is now available on websites globally. As information about this system is becoming better known outside of the remote sensing science community, real-time applications such as fire and coastal monitoring are being used by applications specialists daily.  For some users in more remote sites without high-speed access to the Internet, even slowly varying environmental parameters such as vegetation indices are being monitored. 

    In addition to direct satellite data reception, NASA has found the need of accelerating global data processing for selected valuable short-term products. The MODIS Land Rapid Response system has been developed to provide rapid access to MODIS data globally, with initial emphasis on 250m color composite imagery and active fire data. The experience gained during the Montana fires of 2000, when the MODIS team was asked to provide active fire information to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), has led to the improvement and automation of several of the steps involved in MODIS rapid data provision. Imagery and data are now being provided to the Earth Observatory, the USFS, and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and incremental improvements are planned both for the user interface and the selection of products.

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