High Data Rate Satellite Communications for Environmental Remote Sensing

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 4:30 PM
Room C105 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
John Jackson, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, CA; and J. Munger, P. Emch, B. Sen, and D. Gu

Current earth remote sensing instruments are constrained in both spatial and spectral resolution which can be downlinked due to satellite to ground communication bandwidth limitations. Instruments such as VIIRS, CrIS and OMPS on the Soumi-NPP spacecraft are forced to aggregate data both spatially and spectrally in order to fit inside current data rate constraints, limiting the optimal use of the as-built sensors. Future planned missions such as PACE, TEMPO and DESDynI Radar will have to trade spatial and spectral resolution if increased communication band width is not made available. A number of high-impact, environmental remote sensing disciplines such as hurricane observation, mega-city air quality, wild fire detection and monitoring, and monitoring of coastal oceans would benefit dramatically from enabling the downlinking of sensor data at higher spatial and spectral resolutions. The enabling technologies of multi-Gbps Ka-Band communication and multi-Terabit SSRs are currently available with high technological maturity enabling high data volume mission requirements to be met with minimal mission constraints while utilizing only a very few ground sites from NASA's Near Earth Network (NEN). The enabling technologies will be described in detail with emphasis on benefits to future remote sensing missions currently under consideration by government agencies.