IMPACT is an interdisciplinary team that works to further ESDS’s goal of overseeing the lifecycle of Earth science data to maximize the scientific return of NASA's missions and experiments for research and applied scientists, decision makers, and the society at large. IMPACT’s three focus areas are interagency collaboration, assessment and evaluation, and advanced concepts.

  • Manage Interagency Implementation: IMPACT connects ESDS with other agencies to improve knowledge and use of Earth science data.
  • Provide Assessment and Evaluation Expertise: IMPACT provides the informatics, data systems and domain science expertise needed to assess specific elements of NASA's Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project and its existing processes.
  • Develop Advanced Concepts: IMPACT provides strategic, technical, and management expertise for rapid prototyping, development, and testing of advanced ideas in data and information systems for Earth observations.

IMPACT's Goals

  • IMPACT builds partnerships with other Federal agencies, the applications community, decision makers, NGOs, and other organizations to encourage the adoption of NASA’s Earth observation data into their workflows and operational models.
  • IMPACT enhances NASA’s existing data infrastructure, tools and services to encourage broader use of NASA’s data for all users.
  • IMPACT enables technology and innovation in order to lower the barriers to using complex Earth observation data.

IMPACT’s Projects

IMPACT supports the ESDS Program mission with multiple projects in three focus areas. Some of the projects are:


Satellite Needs Working Group (SNWG) is comprised of a team which serves as the data liaison between the U.S. Group on Earth Observations SNWG and ESDIS. Using the biennial surveys of participating agencies conducted by SNWG to assess their needs for U.S. government Earth observing satellite applications, the team creates a profile of agency needs and develops mappings to data that meet those needs.

Data Curation for Discovery (DCD) designs and implements a systematic plan to assist other agencies in incorporating NASA Earth observation data into their workflows. The DCD team improves the discoverability of NASA Earth science data and other curated Earth observation data in trusted catalogs and platforms.


Analysis and Review of CMR (ARC) focuses on improving the discoverability, accessibility and usability of NASA’s Earth science data holdings by ensuring all NASA collection and granule level metadata records in NASA’s Common Metadata Repository (CMR) meet a minimum standard of quality. The ARC team reviews the metadata for these collections, identifies opportunities for improvement in the records, works with the data providers, develops methods to automate the quality evaluation checks, and develops processes to minimize issues in the future.

Airborne Data Management Group (ADMG) develops systematic approaches to airborne data management and stewardship. The ADMG develops best practices for airborne data management and provides a knowledge base for airborne campaigns, data centers, managers, scientists and users.


The Algorithm Publication Tool (APT) enables open, reproducible science by helping scientists write standardized, high-quality Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents (ATBDs) collaboratively via a single end-to-end authoring tool. The APT establishes and implements a standardized ATBD governance process and provides a free and open portal to ensure all ATBDs are discoverable and accessible to users.

Public-Private Open Data Partnership (OpenData)
The goal of this effort is to:

  1. demonstrate the potential of cloud computing in applying algorithms to the data to enable processing and analytics at scale;
  2. improve over the existing methods of data search and minimize reliance on internal search tools; and
  3. explore partnerships in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to utilize these techniques in novel applications to address existing data discovery, access and use challenges.
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