It has always been important that USGS scientists fully understand the characteristics and quality of the land remote sensing data they work with, and the products derived and distributed from such. Enactment of the Data Quality Act in December 2000 reinforces and clarifies this requirement by charging the Federal government to create procedures that ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of scientific data and information it disseminates.
In order for the USGS to more objectively and accurately characterize the quality of land remote sensing data and it distributes and archives, a suite of scientific instruments are being installed on the grounds of EDC. The instrument suite will accurately measure geographic location, atmospheric condition and composition, meteorological variables including radiation, climatic conditions, and the state of the land surface and subsurface, ie., soil moisture/temperature profiles. These data will support research and development of calibration, validation, characterization, and verification techniques relative to land remote sensing sensors, data, and products. For example, they will provide an adequate foundation for investigating the effects of regional climate variations on agriculture, nutrient fluxes such as carbon and nitrogen, and ecosystem stress. The collective instrumentation suite is an excellent example of interagency collaboration and scientific development through the participation in national and international observation networks, and their scientific priorities.