IMPACT Brings the Knowledge to AMS

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 as well as Global Navigation Satellite System radio occultation and ionosphere monitoring products. The CSDA program continues to evolve in support of additional research communities and needs through continued vendor evaluation and data acquisition efforts.

The Smallsat Data Explorer

The CSDA program data management team is tasked with stewardship of all commercial data purchased by NASA as part of the program. These management activities include establishing scalable, efficient, and repeatable processes to curate and archive the data, providing search and discovery services for the data, and supporting distribution of the data to the NASA science research community. Data stewardship challenges arise in acquiring and archiving these disparate data while meeting the search, discovery, and distribution expectations of the existing data use communities while also developing innovative capabilities to engage new users and communities. This presentation by Aaron Kaulfus will highlight the ongoing efforts within the CSDA program to support NASA’s current and future research science goals, outline the data stewardship efforts and challenges faced by the program, and underscore the technological solutions and tools used to overcome these issues.

A History of the NASA ER-2 Instrument Payloads and Technological Improvements Over Time
Tuesday, January 12, 2021. 1:00 PM — 2:30 PM

The Earth Resources 2 (ER-2) aircraft is a valuable asset for NASA’s Airborne Science Program (ASP). The ER-2 can fly up to 70,000 ft altitude, which makes it a valuable platform for research by providing the capability to take measurements above most of the Earth’s atmosphere. As instrument technology has advanced over the past decades, the ER-2 has consistently proven to be a valuable platform for studying a wide array of atmospheric phenomena and physical processes,including convective processes, lightning, multi-scale precipitation regimes, and frontal systems. The ER-2 has also been valuable as a testbed platform for developing new satellite instrument capability and for post-launch instrument validation. Some examples have included the MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), the MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER), and Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), and the Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer (AMPR). These instruments have evolved yielding greater scientific value through technological improvements, such as improved spatial and temporal resolutions, sampling methods, and hardware and engineering technologies.

Shelby Bagwell is presenting the improvements in ER-2 instrumentation and will show improved data resolution from the ER-2 X-band Doppler Radar (EXRAD) as compared to it’s legacy counterpart: the ER-2 Doppler Radar (EDOP). The modern data as compared to the resampled data illustrate some of the improved benefits of some ER-2 data now available to scientists.

Improving the Discoverability of NASA Airborne and Field Investigation Data
Thursday, January 14, 2021. 3:50 PM — 3:55 PM

Airborne and field investigations (also called campaigns) are relatively short-term efforts designed to study specific science objectives, support the development of new instrumentation, or provide calibration and validation data for existing sensors and algorithms. These lesser-known, complex, and highly heterogeneous data collections play an important role in NASA’s Earth observation system and Earth Science research efforts. Airborne and field data are typically under-utilized by the broader community. The data vary significantly in format, metadata content, quality assessment, and discoverability. Traditionally, field campaign data see little to no use outside of the original science teams during the primary investigation analysis period.

This presentation by Deborah Smith describes the many efforts carried out by NASA’s Airborne Data Management Group (ADMG) whose primary responsibility is to assist with making NASA’s airborne and field investigation data more discoverable and accessible. To do this, ADMG is locating all historical NASA airborne data and facilitating transition of the data to NASA data centers as well as improving how potential users can locate and access these historical data. Through development of a new airborne portal built upon NASA’s Earthdata Search and the Catalog of Archived Earth Science Investigations (CASEI)the AMDG is improving access and facilitating sustainable data reuse and NASA’s return on investment.

ADMG identifies and curates detailed contextual metadata for airborne and field investigations, platforms, instruments and data products — details that are vital to understanding how heterogeneous investigation data compliment each other and support study of specific science objectives. These additional metadata permit better data queries and provide the much-needed background information for appropriate data use. Ms. Smith will close this talk by describing and demonstrating our new, carefully curated CASEI user interface designed to meet user needs and improve discovery of all of NASA’s airborne and field investigation data.

More information about IMPACT can be found at NASA Earthdata and the IMPACT project website.

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

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