The Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) Satellite Needs Working Group (SNWG) works in coordination with the larger SNWG initiative of the U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO). The SNWG team serves as a data liaison between NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information Systems (ESDIS) project and external federal agencies.
The SNWG conducts a biennial survey to formally document and communicate satellite Earth-observing needs to NASA and other space-based Earth observation providers regarding the data each agency needs to accomplish its objectives. The agency survey is conducted to identify potential data gaps in the current NASA program of record and/or data sets that meet agency needs. The SNWG team has reformulated the 2020 agency survey to better capture the Earth observation needs of agencies and will provide assessment of the survey results when available.
Agency support is provided through the development of two platforms. The first is an archive of agency survey responses and NASA assessments which supports future biennial surveys, identifies agency data continuity concerns, and uncovers potential data gaps in the NASA program of record. The second is a web platform that allows end users to query existing databases for datasets relevant to their particular agency objectives. Both platforms are intended to provide external agencies with resources to address their needs between biennial surveys.
Uncovering Data Gaps
Through uncovering and communicating existing and future data gaps to NASA, the SNWG project team works to better inform current and future mission decisions. Data continuity is a primary concern for participating SNWG agencies; thus, the platforms developed to support participating agencies discussed above address these needs. The inclusion of data continuity information not only allows users to analyze temporal trends within similar data sources; it also allows potential future data gaps to be identified for mission planning. Such planning is critically important to the operational needs of participating agencies.
A major data gap identified in the 2016 agency survey was the need for a systematic approach to archiving and distributing NASA airborne and field campaign data. IMPACT’s Airborne Data Management Group (ADMG) is developing a curated inventory of current and past campaigns that will allow for more efficient data discovery. ADMG also works to improve airborne and field data publication processes so that new airborne data can more rapidly reach data users.
Another major identified need was for products harmonizing Earth observations from multiple satellites. IMPACT is generating a Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) product that provides near-global high resolution Earth surface reflectance data to agencies to support land monitoring applications and research. HLS data harmonizes Landsat and Sentinel-2 data onto a uniform 30 meter grid to provide medium to high resolution surface reflectance measurements every 2-3 days. Additional harmonized data products are currently being formulated in response to data gaps identified in the 2018 agency survey.