NASA's Earth Science Satellite Observation Program

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 8:45 AM
B313 (GWCC)
Michael H. Freilich, NASA, Washington, DC

NASA uses the vantage point of space to provide global observations of the Earth system that allows advances in scientific knowledge, serves as a precursor for future operational observations, and can be used to improve forecasting and decision support to better serve the nation and the world. Through its current fleet of fifteen operating missions, representing broad diversity in size, scope, and approach, missions currently in formulation and development, and the larger set of missions identified by the National Research Council (NRC) in the "Decadal Survey" released in 2007, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, NASA continues to provide new capability that is helping to characterize the Earth system and the forces that act upon it; quantify its variability on time scales including those relevant to weather and climate; understand Earth system processes, especially those that connect Earth system components; determine the consequences of Earth system change on its citizens, and to improve predictive capability for the future.

In this talk, a summary of current activities and plans will be provided. Particular focus will be given on NASA's implementation of the missions identified by the NRC in its Decadal Survey, and how investments in technology are facilitating the future missions. Additional focus will be given to how the advances made by NASA in the development and utilization of research satellites may be most effectively applied toward the programs that will provide the future satellites needed to both sustain the data records for scientific research and provide the data sets for operational systems that were shown to benefit from the new data types.