Calling all all coders, scientists, entrepreneurs, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, technologists, and space enthusiasts! NASA, ESA (European Space Agency), and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) are hosting the Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon from June 23–29.

The hackathon builds on the success of the the Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge. Over the course of a week, virtual teams will focus on utilizing data from the Earth Observing Dashboard to address challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The teams will interact with experts from NASA, ESA, and JAXA as they develop their project submissions. The winning teams will have the opportunity to incorporate their solutions into the Earth Observing Dashboard.

Registration for the hackathon begins on May 20, 2021. Details are available here. Additional background information is available on NASA Earthdata.


The science of informatics is a big part of what IMPACT does within the field of the Earth sciences. But what is informatics? Is it just another word for information technology? Is it about information processing? Is it simply a focus on information systems or information science? A review of the literature on informatics easily returns any of the above concepts. But what does informatics mean practically as IMPACT implements it to benefit Earth science researchers?

The best way to demonstrate IMPACT’s approach to informatics is to allow the members of the informatics team to speak for themselves. We asked…


Machine learning can use human-labeled datasets as training datasets to achieve impressive results. However, hard problems exist in domains with sparse amounts of labeled data, such as in Earth science. Self-supervised learning (SSL) is a method designed to address this challenge. Using clever tricks that range from representation clustering to random transform comparisons, self-supervised learning for computer vision is a growing area of machine learning whose goal is simple: learn meaningful vector representations of images without having human labels associated with each image such that similar images have similar vector representations.

In particular, remote sensing is characterized by a huge…


Flood events result in devastating consequences for people, ecosystems, and economies. Floods occur throughout the world, and a single major flood event can result in multiple billions of dollars in damages. Flood extent is difficult to acquire on the ground as it is hazardous to operate in a flood zone, and physical access by roads is limited. Being able to detect flood extent provides automated ways to assist disaster response during flood events. Accurately detecting floods and flood extent via remote means greatly aids in the process of mitigating and responding to these destructive events.

Flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina

IMPACT, in collaboration with the…


NASA embraces open science. IMPACT works to enable open data for NASA tools such as Worldview which gives users access to over 450 terabytes of satellite imagery. Open data is critical to research. Before embarking on a scientific study related to particular phenomena, such as wildfires, scientists need to collect numerous examples of these phenomena. Locating these examples requires searching through 197 million square miles of satellite imagery each day across more than 20 years of data. Such an effort can produce a valuable trove of data, but the act of manually searching the data is cumbersome and laborious. Making…


There is a scientific need for more frequent global surface reflectance observations for land monitoring applications. To address this need, observations from instruments on multiple platforms can be used to improve temporal coverage. To combine data from similar instruments and platforms, the data must be harmonized, or made more consistent. To provide the frequent observations needed, the Harmonized Landsat-8 Sentinel-2 (HLS) data products were developed by a team at Goddard Space Flight Center. The HLS algorithm had been implemented for more than 120 test sites worldwide covering approximately 28% of the globe.

Global coverage demanded cloud-level performance

As described in an earlier blog post, the…


Not long ago, we published a post about the work IMPACT’s Airborne Data Management Group’s (ADMG) is doing to increase discovery of and access to airborne and field investigation data and information. However, that is only part of ADMG’s scope. The ADMG team also works to improve communication between data producers, archivers, and science users, as well as to recommend better airborne data management practices for NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

ADMG summarizes both historical campaigns and NASA facility instrument efforts to assist with determining which Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) should archive and manage the…


The new year kicks off with the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting, and IMPACT will be represented. Below are previews of the must-see presentations IMPACT team members will be delivering on commercial satellite data, improved data resolution, and improving data discoverability and access.

Commercial Small Satellite Data Discovery and Access to Support Scientific Research
Wednesday, January 13, 2021. 12:50 PM — 12:55 PM

The NASA Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) program identifies, evaluates, and acquires data from commercial satellite companies. This data complements NASA’s Earth science missions and research goals. Data acquired as part of this program includes satellite imagery…


NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) program that manages all of NASA’s Earth science data is facing new sets of challenges in data management, processing, and analysis due to the anticipated growth of Earth science data. To address these unprecedented challenges, ESDS is starting to leverage advanced data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in all facets of the science data lifecycle management.

Dr. Manil Maskey, a research scientist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville and lead of IMPACT’s Advanced Concepts team, will be presenting a webinar for the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society titled…


The EGU General Assembly 2021 is fast approaching, and IMPACT is convening the session Addressing Training Data Challenges to Accelerate Earth Science Machine Learning. Progress in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is driven by data. Data, specifically, large-scale and openly-accessible training data are critical to the adoption and acceleration of ML.

Access to high-quality labeled training data is required to enable ML practitioners to tackle supervised learning problems in Earth science. However, creating labeled data that scales is still a bottleneck, and new strategies to increase the size and diversity of training datasets need to be explored. …

IMPACT Unofficial

This is the unofficial blog of the Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store