Advanced Information Systems Technology

Pioneering the Next-Generation of Intelligent Systems for Earth Science

The Advanced Information System Technology Program identifies, funds and develops state-of-the-art technologies that enable: unique Earth science observation capabilities through distributed sensing; optimization of science missions value through flexible information integration; and agile science investigations through advanced algorithmic, computational and visualization tools, such as novel software, data analytics, artificial intelligence and relevant computing environments.

Some projects find new ways to create missions from the ground up while others develop tools to improve how we use Earth science data already collected by land, air and space. The projects are inspired by NASA’s Earth Science Focus Areas and the Designated Observables defined by the National Academies of Science and Engineering’s 2017 – 2027 Decadal Survey

AIST innovates information system technologies that enable the development of novel observing systems as well as agile science investigations through data analytics and artificial intelligence tools and algorithms. AIST utilizes an end-to-end development approach with the goal of infusing mature technologies into future missions, measurements, and analysis.

AIST encourages pioneering concepts and diverse teams including experts through students and from a broad variety of backgrounds and organizations to ensure ingenuity coupled with vigorous research.

The program is currently focusing on these two thrusts:

New Observing Strategies and Analytic Center Frameworks

  • New Observing Strategies: Every Earth observing mission begins with a mission design. This thrust helps develop and evolve new ways of designing an Earth observation system to incorporate technological advances, like smaller satellites and smarter sensors, and information gathered from space, air and ground-based sources. We have more observation capabilities and tools than ever before, providing researchers with an arsenal of data-collecting possibilities. This program aims to develop architectures that could autonomously control and consolidate data from sensor webs, small satellites and UAVs. Technology advances are creating opportunities to make new measurements and to continue others more effectively. 
  • Analytic Center Frameworks: Once an Earth observing mission is in operation, we can expect a lot of data back on land. Data from different missions often arrive in different formats, and when combined with ground-based and airborne-derived data, things get tricky. Scientists can look to this framework, which incorporates software tools like machine learning, to help them more easily use and visualize the data in their research.

Events & Reports

AIST hosts workshops, conferences, and project reviews to educate the science community about breakthroughs in the world of information systems.

AIST Events & Reports


AIST uses the NASA Research Announcement as its investment vehicle. Links to the full solicitations and awards are listed below.