ESDS Program

Satellite Needs Working Group Solutions

The Satellite Needs Working Group (SNWG) surveys federal civilian agencies biennially to identify their high-priority Earth observation data needs. After receiving survey responses, NASA-led assessment teams collaborate with other satellite Earth science data providers NOAA and USGS to pinpoint solutions that could potentially resolve these data gaps. The implementation of SNWG solutions is overseen by the SNWG Management Office at NASA's Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) and by other entities within NASA's Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program. Solutions from past SNWG survey cycles that are now operational are described below. Toggle the tabs above to view solutions that are currently in implementation and formulation.

Access to DESIS data

Background

Image
DESIS land cover image

NASA’s Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program provides NASA-affiliated scientists and funded research partners with access to imagery from several commercial observation platforms. These constellations of imagers have often provided higher spatial resolution imaging and greater temporal resolution. Improved access to data products from commercial systems through upgraded NASA’s agreement(s), reduced latency acquisitions, and improved derivation of new research and operational products will enable new opportunities for research and applications. At the recommendation of the SNWG-2020 assessment process, the CSDA DESIS licensing agreement was renewed to support scientific satellite data needs across the US Government. The status of the commercial data and end user license agreements and how to access the data can be found at: CSDA - Commercial Datasets.

Status

The SNWG-2020 Assessment found that several agencies would continue to benefit from the US Government scientific research EULA for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Earth Sensing Imaging Spectroradiometer (DESIS) hyperspectral data and recommended that NASA’s CSDA program continue to provide the US Government with access to the data. DESIS is a hyperspectral imaging sensor that has 1024 bands spanning 400-1000 nm wavelengths, has a nominal spatial resolution of 30 m, and operates on the International Space Station (ISS). The unique orbit and highly detailed surface reflectance spectrum offers opportunities to test and develop new algorithms focused on land surface vegetation and water quality. Continued US Government access to data from DESIS data would be facilitated by renewing the existing ISS cooperative agreement with Teledyne Brown Engineering, which expires February 2024. The SNWG-2022 Assessment recommended renewing the DESIS agreement with the goal of providing uninterrupted access to DESIS imagery for scientific, non-commercial use.

Thematic Areas

Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Solid Earth, Water

Relevant Link(s)

Characteristics

Satellite Geographic Domain
DESIS-on-ISS Global
Access to High-Resolution DEMs Derived from Commercial Data
Image
This is an image of satellite data

Background

Every SNWG Assessment cycle (2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022) found that the land monitoring and response agencies seek access to high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) that provide a high-resolution depiction of the land surface.  It was also found that frequent DEM updates are important in regions with rapidly changing local topography due to volcanoes, geohazards, mining, subsidence, sea-level rise, urban growth, and more. High-resolution DEMs have been requested in every SNWG Assessment Cycle because they provide fundamental topographic underpinning for the processes that each land monitoring agency tracks.   

Status

The SNWG-2020 Assessment recommended US Government access to data from the EarthDEM project, which derives high-resolution DEMs at 2-m spatial resolution from Maxar Worldview imagery. EarthDEM strip-data is now available through NASA’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program (CSDA), allowing detailed elevation change detection. EarthDEM coverage decreases with latitude toward the equator and in areas with frequent cloud cover.

On the horizon

NASA’s CSDA program is evaluating new algorithms that have the potential to produce digital elevation retrievals from Planet Dove imagery at the 4-5-m Dove Classic native spatial resolution. The advantages of Planet Dove Classic imagery are daily observations that enable frequent image collection that can overcome clouds even in equatorial areas. This high revisit frequency enables multiple DEMs to be created and averaged, improving elevation accuracies. While the preliminary results are promising, this remains an area of research.

Thematic Areas

Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Solid Earth

Relevant Link(s)

Characteristics

Parent Satellites Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain
Worldview-1, Worldview-2, Worldview-3, GeoEye-1 Varies 2 m, 4-5 m Global
Airborne Data Management Group (ADMG)

Background

Image
CASEI

The NASA Airborne Data Management Group (ADMG) was established within the Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) to address SNWG agency requests for airborne data.  ADMG seeks faster access to airborne and field campaign data for all users through development of an Earth Science Division-wide approach to airborne data management and stewardship by working with Earth Venture Suborbital (EVS) teams and Earth Science Division’s Research and Analysis research teams, as well as NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). ADMG helps in communication and data transfer, improving policies, procedures, and best practices to ensure quicker and more effective data archival and distribution to users. ADMG has increased the speed and efficiency of data transfer from years for past activities to providing data that are accessible within 6-12 months from collection, as evident with the recent EVS-3 projects.   

Status

Inventorying all NASA airborne and field campaigns; 165 past and current campaigns have been identified of which 41 need to be placed at DAACs. ADMG is adding metadata for each campaign into a relational database for improved cross-DAAC discovery and understanding of NASA airborne and field data. The Catalog of Archived Suborbital Earth Science Investigations (CASEI) provides users with detailed contextual information and data product access for at least 60% of the campaigns with additional campaigns continuing to be added. The ADMG also works to bring analog and other historical data and information pertaining to airborne and field measurements to DAACs to make the data open to all users.

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Land Cover and Land Use, Ocean and Cryosphere, Solid Earth, Water, Weather

Relevant Link(s)

CASEI

Broader Access to Planet Data

Background

Image
planet vendor thumbnail

NASA’s Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program provides NASA-affiliated scientists and funded research partners with access to imagery from several commercial observation platforms. These constellations of imagers have often provided higher spatial resolution imaging and greater temporal resolution. Improved access to data products from commercial systems through upgraded NASA’s agreement(s), reduced latency acquisitions, and improved derivation of new research and operational products will enable new opportunities for research and applications. At the recommendation of the SNWG-2020 Assessment process, the CSDA licensing agreements expanded in 2021 to broaden the applicability for scientific applications across the US government. The status of the Commercial Data and End User License Agreements and how to access the data can be found at: CSDA - Commercial Datasets.

Status

The NASA CSDA Program continues to provide U.S. federal civil agencies, including National Science Foundation (NSF)-affiliated scientists and funded research partners access to Planet imagery through the current Expanded Planet End User License Agreement (EULA). This provides access for scientific, non-commercial use with a 30-day delay for PlanetScope and RapidEye; NASA does not intend to include SkySat. Planet will provide low-latency imagery with justifications, i.e., disaster response.

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Ocean and Cryosphere, Solid Earth, Water, Weather

Relevant Link(s)

Characteristics

Satellites Geographic Domain
PlanetScope, RapidEye Global
Broader Access to Spire Data

Background

NASA’s Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program provides NASA-affiliated scientists and funded research partners with access to imagery from several commercial observation platforms. These constellations of imagers have often provided higher spatial resolution imaging and greater temporal resolution. Improved access to data products from commercial systems through upgraded NASA’s agreement(s), reduced latency acquisitions, and improved derivation of new research and operational products will enable new opportunities for research and applications. At the recommendation of the SNWG-2020 Assessment process, the CSDA Spire licensing agreements expanded in 2021 to broaden the applicability for scientific applications across the US government. The status of the Commercial Data and End User License Agreements and how to access the data can be found at: CSDA - Commercial Datasets.

Status

NASA CSDA continues to provide access to GNSS-Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO) data through the current U.S. government End User License Agreement (EULA). GPS-Radio Occultation data (GPS-RO) were evaluated by NASA’s CSDA Program and were found to provide value in a number of areas including data assimilation and numerical weather prediction. They also enhanced atmospheric temperature and moisture content vertical profiles when combined with hyperspectral sounder information. The license provides scientific, non-commercial use only with a 30-day delay for access to the Spire Earth Science and Heliophysics data catalog.

Thematic Areas

Weather

Relevant Link(s)

Commercial Datasets available via NASA's CSDA program NASA evaluation of Spire data

Characteristics

Satellite Geographic Domain
Spire Global
Data Curation for Discovery
Image
Screenshot of the Geoplatform Resilience web site.

Background

The Data Curation for Discovery (DCD) project focuses on design 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 on platforms such as data.gov and geoplatform.gov.

Status

To support the accurate publication of NASA Earth observations in these platforms, the DCD team routinely monitors and updates Data.gov’s climate collection and Geoplatform’s Resilience Community. Additionally, DCD creates a profile of agency needs captured through the federal-civil satellite needs survey conducted by USGEO SNWG. The team publicizes the outcomes of SNWG surveys through the SNWG Solutions interface. The DCD team also gathers training resources and workshop information for select SNWG solutions to address the training needs of users and support the Stakeholder Engagement Program (SEP).

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Ocean and Cryosphere, Solid Earth, Water, Weather

Relevant Link(s)

DCD

Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS)

Background

Image
True color Landsat 9 image of Shasta Lake at low capacity, exposing the brown shoreline of the reservoir, on Aug 14, 2022

The SNWG-2016 Assessment found that it was challenging for many agencies to combine data from both Landsat and Sentinel-2 missions because of their different resolutions and also found the collection frequency of either mission alone was insufficient to meet the observational needs of the land monitoring agencies. Therefore, the SNWG-2016 Assessment identified that these agencies would significantly benefit from a global Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) surface reflectance product that reduces the differences between each sensor and provides global observations on a common set of grids to expedite processing and analysis. The HLS dataset combines data from Landsat-8 and -9, and Sentinel-2A and -2B to achieve a temporal resolution that was not possible with a single mission while keeping the data consistent with the 40-year archive of Landsat data. The HLS dataset provides surface reflectance at a spatial resolution of 30 meters every two to three days. HLS is derived from re-projecting top-of-atmosphere reflectance from Landsat-8, -9, and Sentinel-2 onto a common grid and is composed of two surface reflectance products (L30 and S30). 

Status

These products have been produced globally and distributed by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center from 2013 to present. Historical processing will extend the archive back to December 2015 for S30 and April 2013 for L30, in line with the launch of Sentinel-2A and Landsat-8. HLS products are now generated as cloud-optimized GeoTIFFs, and the LP DAAC has compiled a Jupyter Notebook to help users access HLS data natively in the cloud. The HLS codebase is available to the public via GitHub.

Thematic Areas

Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Solid Earth, Water

Relevant Link(s)

Characteristics

Parent Satellites Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain Latency Spectral Band
Sentinel-2 A, Sentinel-2 B, Sentinel-2 C, Landsat 8, Landsat 9 2-3 days 30 m Global 2-3 days VIS, NIR, SWIR
NGA Product Support
Image
csda

Background

NASA supports users requesting archived data as well as new acquisitions provided through NGA's NextView license. Per agreement with NGA, NASA researchers can only access certain datasets via the Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) program. Other agencies may still need to access data such as Maxar through NGA-provided interfaces. All users who request products via NASA's CSDA program are vetted to ensure they are legitimate and understand the license restrictions. NASA's commercial archive is being moved to the cloud. Specific information can be found on CSDA's website linked below.

Status

NGA, NSF, and NASA support the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) at the University of Minnesota to produce Digital Elevation Model (DEM) elevation products (ArcticDEM and EarthDEM) generated from Worldview stereo imagery for U.S. Government use with NGA’s NextView license. CSDA augmented PGC’s processing capability to improve DEM generation in regions with vegetation and is striving to improve data distribution of EarthDEM via NASA’s EOSDIS Earthdata Cloud. NASA is also providing AWS storage for EarthDEM’s 50 cm products (~6 PB of data).

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Land Cover and Land Use, Ocean and Cryosphere, Solid Earth, Water, Disaster Response, Weather

Relevant Link(s)

Sea Surface Salinity with Sea Ice Mask

Background

Image
Photograph of a sea ice lead

The SNWG-2020 assessment found that the SNWG agencies would benefit if an additional data flag was added to sea surface salinity (SSS) products from the SMAP mission that would identify mix ocean/sea ice conditions close to the sea ice edge, rather than the current approach of masking and removing the SSS value whenever sea ice is detected. NASA supports the production of SSS products from the SMAP satellite mission which are produced by remote sensing systems (RSS) as part of the NASA Ocean Salinity science team effort. The product, referred to RSS SMAP-SSS, is distributed via PO.DAAC (Physical Oceanography).

Status

This activity was implemented outside of the SNWG by PO.DAAC. The version 5.0 SMAP SSS datasets include flags that allow users to identify the sea-ice fraction in each pixel and access salinity values close to the sea ice edge.

Thematic Areas

Ocean and Cryosphere

Relevant Link(s)

Characteristics

Parent Satellites Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain
SMAP 8 days 70 km Global
Water Quality Product
Image
Satellite image showing ocean color differences between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea

Background

The SNWG-2018 Assessment found that an analysis-ready color data product would benefit several SNWG agencies. NASA’s Ocean Biology Processing Group is responsible for producing ocean color products from the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) on Sentinel 3 A/B, which are available through the Ocean Biology DAAC. 

Status

These products include Level-2 (300 m resolution) and Level-3 (global 1.2 km resolution), as derived using standard NASA ocean color algorithms and the NASA vicarious calibration approach to minimize bias between OLCI products and the standard ocean color time-series derived from SeaWiFS, MODIS, and VIIRS instruments. The Level-2 and Level-3 processing capability is also distributed as open source software through the SeaDAS software package.

Thematic Areas

Ocean and Cryosphere, Water

Relevant Link(s)

NASA Ocean Color

Characteristics

Parent Satellites Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain Vertical Resolution Latency Spectral Band
Sentinel-3 A, Sentinel-3 B Daily 300 m Global 300 m < 24 hours VIS, NIR, SWIR

The Satellite Needs Working Group (SNWG) surveys federal civilian agencies biennially to identify their high-priority Earth observation data needs. After receiving survey responses, NASA-led assessment teams collaborate with other satellite Earth science data providers NOAA and USGS to pinpoint solutions that could potentially resolve these data gaps. The implementation of SNWG solutions is overseen by the SNWG Management Office at NASA's Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) and by other entities within NASA's Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program. Solutions from past SNWG survey cycles that are in implementation are described below. Toggle the tabs above to view solutions that are currently operational and in formulation.

Animal Tracking (Internet of Animals)

Background

Image
Migration patterns

NASA initiated a five-year study to determine a suitable space-based architecture for global low-latency tracking of small migratory animals like birds and bats in response to the satellite needs identified in the SNWG-2018 Assessment process. The objectives of the study, named Internet of Animals (IOA), are to 1) systematically assess user needs in the areas of space-based telemetry for animal movement ecology/behavior research and applied ecological management; 2) architect a next-generation space-based animal tracking system (i.e., an ‘Internet of Animals’ or IoA) to meet those needs; and 3) develop science and technology needed to monitor animal movement and link it with the many other dimensions of biodiversity and habitat that can now be mapped from space using remote sensing.  

Status

The IoA study is a collaboration between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Yale University, NASA Ames Research Center, USGS Western Ecological Research Center, and the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany.

Thematic Areas

Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Land Cover and Land Use, Water

Characteristics

Parent Satellite Geographic Domain
ISS Global
Atmospheric Composition using GEOS-5

Background

Image
atmospheric composition

The SNWG-2018 Assessment found that several agencies benefit from global, three-dimensional, gridded atmospheric composition distributions for the period 2008-2018 produced by the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The GMAO has been conducting global chemical transport modeling simulations using Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5 (GEOS-5) since 2017. In the next several years, aerosol and trace gas concentrations observed by satellites and recorded at ground observation stations will be assimilated within a GEOS-5 model simulation to provide hourly, three-dimensional characterization of atmospheric composition over the globe. Simulations for the 2008-2018 time period will be conducted and made available. Software infrastructure that enables the assimilation of observations from the recently launched (April 2023) Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) mission will be developed. 

Status

Formulation activities began in 2021. The GEOS-CF system has been enhanced, and final tests will now be run for an extended period. Retaining the 72-layer, quarter-degree configuration, the updated GEOS model is now being run with assimilation of atmospheric constituents (e.g., aerosols, ozone, NO2, and SO2) from a variety of observation sources. Testing and benchmarking of this system is underway. Once the evaluation is complete, reanalysis for the 2008-2018 period will be initialized and run to completion.  

The bulk of the work has been focused on three aspects of data and diagnostics enhancement. First, preparation for assimilating multiple input datasets, which has required data acquisition and storage in the GMAO’s storage space on NASA’s HPC domain.  Second, implementation and evaluation of the NO2 assimilation, which plays a critical role in the long-term evolution of near-surface ozone. Third, the development of new monitoring and evaluation diagnostics tested on the GMAO’s real-time GEOS-CF system; this will allow for continual assessment of the quality of the constituent reanalysis dataset as it is produced.  These diagnostics are released daily on the GMAO’s website.

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition

Relevant Link(s)

GMAO - GEOS-CF

Characteristics

Parent Satellite(s) Temporal Frequency Geographic Domain Vertical Resolution
Terra, Aqua, Aura, Suomi NPP, JPSS-1, JPSS-2, Sentinel-5 precursor Hourly (selected surface fields), Daily Global 72 layers, surface to mesosphere
Discovery and Access of NASA Commercial Data

Background

Image
CSDA

The SNWG-2020 Assessment found it challenging for agencies to discover and access commercial data, as there are multiple online catalogs to find the needed data. The assessment also found that the agencies would prefer to discover and access both NASA and commercial data through NASAs EarthData Search web interface. This would serve to consolidate the discovery of remote sensing data provided by various vendors to the US government.

Status

NASA will implement this SNWG activity as part of the CSDA program. Agencies will be able to discover both NASA and commercial data with the same search tool and will be able to access both datasets subject to the terms of the EULA.

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Ocean and Cryosphere, Solid Earth, Water, Weather

Relevant Link(s)

CSDA program

Characteristics

Satellites
PlanetScope, RapidEye, SkySat, Spire, Worldview-1, Worldview-2, Worldview-3, GeoEye-1, QuickBird, IKONOS, Worldview-4, DESIS, EarthDEM
Global NISAR Soil Moisture

Background

Image
NISAR

The SNWG-2016 and SNWG-2018 Assessments found that there was a widespread need for higher resolution soil moisture measurements than what was currently available from the SMAP mission. Agencies requested measurements at field-scale resolutions that could support a wide range of science and applications needs, such as agricultural/food security, wildlife management, forest and ecosystem services, wildfires, and other natural disasters. The SNWG-2018 Assessment selected a near-global NISAR soil moisture product that will provide a well-calibrated and validated soil moisture product with 200 m resolution globally (approximately 500 m for the Sahara due to challenges of measuring soil moisture in dry sand). There will be a minimum of two products every 12 days from both ascending and descending orbits, with more frequent observations at higher latitudes as the orbits begin to converge closer to the poles.

Status

Product formulation began in FY2020 to align with the NISAR launch. The final algorithms have been reviewed as of fall 2022 and the products will be operational after NISAR launches in early 2024. This SNWG product was enabled by the SNWG-2016 High-Resolution North America NISAR Data activity.

Thematic Areas

Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Land Cover and Land Use, Solid Earth, Water

Relevant Link(s)

NISAR

Characteristics

Parent Satellite Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain Latency Spectral Band
NISAR Twice every 12 days 200 m (400 m in Sahara Desert) Global 72 hours MW, L-Band, S-Band
High-Resolution North America NISAR data

Background

Image
NISAR over Earth

The 2016 SNWG Assessment Process found that increasing NISAR’s data collection resolution from 20 MHz (6x12 m) to 40 MHz (6x6 m) and increasing the signal polarization diversity from dual-pol to quad-pol over North America would widely support satellite needs for all of the U.S. Government land monitoring Agencies. While NISAR has the on-orbit capacity to collect the added data requested by the SNWG, NASA lacked sufficient downlink stations to meet the added data volume. The SNWG-2016 supported the installation of a new downlink station that increased the dedicated downlink capacity of NISAR by 9 Tbits/day.  

Status

Near Space Network (NSN) installed a new downlink station at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to support the added data volume for NISAR’s SNWG activities.  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) did not approve NASA’s NISAR proposed quad-pol collection mode at the 40 MHz power levels.  The NISAR Science Team held a virtual workshop with the SNWG agencies requesting both the quad-pol and high-resolution 40 MHz imagery (July 2020) to discuss potential alternate collection strategies. The SNWG community and the NISAR Science Team concluded that higher quality (increased PRF: pulse rate frequency) dual pol data collected at higher 40 MHz (6x6) resolution would have greater scientific benefit than the degraded quad-pol collection mode approved by NTIA. The increased PRF and the SNWG-Global NISAR Soil Moisture product utilize the downlink bandwidth allocated for quad-pol data.

Thematic Areas

Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Solid Earth, Water

Relevant Link(s) 

NISAR

Characteristics

Parent Satellite Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain
NISAR 12 days 6 m North America
Low Latency Freeboard and Ice Thickness Products over the Great Lakes

Background

Image
ICESat-2

The SNWG-2018 Assessment found that agencies would benefit significantly from reduced data latency of lake ice freeboard thickness measurements from ICESat-2, specifically over the Great Lakes region for navigation, commerce, and safety. This effort focused on reducing latency from the original 45 day science mode data latency to 3 days, thereby helping to satisfy the SNWG agencies satellite needs.

Status

The NASA team has operationally released reduced-latency versions of existing products for ICESat-2 and analyzed the uncertainty of these products. This has been a necessary step toward the capability for a low-latency lake ice freeboard thickness product. The five "expedited products" are now discoverable in LANCE and available at NSIDC. Higher quality, longer-latency products remain available in the permanent data archive. The team has begun investigating a new algorithm approach for the proposed lake ice thickness data product. The proposed work builds off the ATL10QL sea ice product with modifications for a lake surface.

Thematic Areas

Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Land Cover and Land Use, Water

Relevant Link(s)

Specific Products 

Characteristics

Parent Satellite Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain Vertical Resolution Latency Spectral Band
ICESat-2 Variable 20 m - 150 m The Great Lakes < 5 cm 3-5 days VIS
Observational Products for End Users from Remote Sensing Analysis (OPERA)

Background

Image
OPERA

The Observational Products for End-Users from Remote Sensing Analysis (OPERA) project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California was selected in 2020 to oversee and implement three SNWG-2018 activities: Global Surface Water Extent, Land Surface Disturbance, and North American Land Surface Deformation. These activities utilize common satellite data (Landsat, Sentinel-2, NISAR, Sentinel-1, and Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT)). OPERA has five planned product releases scheduled between February 2023 and September 2025 with data products to be hosted by three NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). 

Status

Global Surface Water Extent (GSWE) Product

The SNWG-2018 Assessment found that knowing where surface water exists (lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and floods) multiple times a week, ideally daily, would fill a significant satellite need of all of the US land monitoring SNWG agencies and help to satisfy the satellite needs for disaster monitoring and response agencies. This SNWG activity was selected and is being managed by JPL’s Observational Products for End-Users from Remote Sensing Analysis (OPERA) project, who will oversee the development, implementations, and operations of a near-global surface water extent data product that will combine imagery from 7 satellites (Landsat-8, Sentinel-2 A/B, Sentinel-1 A/B, NISAR, and SWOT) to map the spatial extent of surface water on land at 30 m (100-120 m for SWOT) resolution with the potential product frequency of every few days, depending on cloud conditions.

DSWx is increasing the spatial coverage and temporal frequency of the existing USGS EROS Data Center's Dynamic Surface Water Extent (DSWE) product that identifies surface water only from Landsat data and only in the U.S. to include Sentinel-2 data and expand to a near-global* extent. The addition of SAR satellite imagery to the product line will enable the ability to map surface water extent in cloudy conditions and beneath vegetation in certain cases, thereby increasing the temporal frequency and mapping water that can be obscured by trees and dense vegetation. Further information about the OPERA and the DSWx product suite can be found below.  

 *near-global: all landmasses excluding Antarctica

Land Surface Disturbance Product

The SNWG-2018 Assessment found that knowing where the land surface, vegetation, and urban areas are changing would help satisfy the satellite needs of all of the U.S. land monitoring SNWG agencies. This SNWG activity was selected and is being managed by JPL’s Observational Products for End-Users from Remote Sensing Analysis (OPERA) project, and they will oversee the development, implementations, and operations of a near-global Surface Disturbance product suite at 30-m resolution combining optical data from the Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) dataset and radar data from Sentinel-1.

The primary objective of the Surface Disturbance product is to detect and track various types of land disturbances and changes, both natural and anthropogenic as well as abrupt and gradual. A provisional version of the product on a near-global scale was available on LP DAAC in February 2023. As of May 2023, 930,000 granules of the Surface Disturbance product are already now available on NASA EarthData. An annual product will be available after a full year of disturbance granules have been generated. The transition from a provisional version to a validated product is planned for October 2023.

North American Surface Deformation Product

The SNWG-2018 Assessment found that knowing where and by how much the land surface is moving would help satisfy the satellite needs of all of the U.S. land monitoring SNWG agencies. This SNWG activity was selected and is being managed by JPL’s Observational Products for End-Users from Remote Sensing Analysis (OPERA) project and they will oversee the development, implementations, and operations of of the North America* land surface displacement (DISP) product that will track the motion of landslides, sinkholes, land subsidence, permafrost motion, volcanic unrest, earthquakes, and more using the Sentinel-1 C-band and future NISAR radar imagery. The DISP product combines both traditional InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) analysis along with Persistent Scatterer InSAR (PS-InSAR) to develop a robust time-series of land surface displacement in the radar line-of-sight.

The Sentinel-1 imagery provides a detailed deformation time series beginning with the launch of Sentinel-1 in 2014 every 6 or 12 days, but has limited coverage in regions with significant vegetation. NISAR’s vegetation penetrating L-band radar will be able to track land surface displacement in most of the ecosystems across North America. NISAR will be collecting higher resolution imagery (6x6 m) specifically over North America to support Satellite Needs identified in the SNWG-2016 assessment cycle. The SNWG-2018 deformation product fully utilizes the increased resolution that will better resolve smaller areas of land surface motion. For more information on NISAR, see below.

*North America: the United States (USA) and US Territories, Canada within 200 km of the US border, and all mainland countries from the southern US border up to and including Panama.

For more information on the anticipated product release schedule, visit OPERA’s website.

Thematic Areas

Disaster Response, Land Cover and Land Use, Water, Solid Earth

Relevant Link(s)

OPERA

Global Surface Water Extent (GSWE) Product

Land Surface Disturbance Product

North American Surface Deformation Product

Characteristics

Product Name Parent Satellites Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain Latency Spectral Band
Global Surface Water Extent (GSWE) product Landsat 8, Landsat 9, Sentinel-2 A, Sentinel-2 B, Sentinel-1 A, Sentinel-1 B, NISAR, SWOT Sub-weekly 30 m; 100-120 m for SWOT Near-global ~ 3 days VIS, NIR, SWIR, MW, L-Band, S-Band, C-Band, K-Band, Ka-Band
Global Land Surface Disturbance and Change Detection Landsat 8, Landsat 9, Sentinel-2 A, Sentinel-2 B, Sentinel-1 A, Sentinel-1 C Sub-weekly 30 m Near-global ~ 3 days VIS, NIR, SWIR, MW, L-Band, S-Band, C-Band
North American Surface Deformation Sentinel-1 A, Sentinel-1 B, NISAR Weekly <= 30 m North America, U.S. Territories ~ 5 days MW, L-Band, S-Band, C-Band
Radiation and Clouds

Background

Image
SatCORPS radiation and clouds

The SNWG-2018 assessment found that agencies would benefit from a high-resolution (3 km), hourly, global three-dimensional gridded atmospheric composition product between 2008-2018 to improve their climate models. Based on the SNWG assessment, NASA enhanced the processing and storage capabilities within the Satellite Cloud and Radiation Property Retrieval System, developed algorithms to ingest observations from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), and created a global composites of satellite cloud properties from MODIS, VIIRS, and 5 GEOsats at 3-km spatial and hourly temporal resolutions.

Status

Full spatial resolution global GEO satellite datasets are routinely produced within the SatCORPS. The GCC (global cloud composites) system that merges MODIS, VIIRS, and GEO data onto a 3-km global grid is completed. State-of-the-art parameterizations for droplet number concentration and cloud water path are implemented. Challenges encountered with the implementation of AI/ML methods that reduce artifacts and improve the consistency of the GCC products at all times of day, in the solar terminator and sunglint have been overcome. A new test dataset is in production for user evaluation. Implementation of new cloud algorithm updates leveraged from other projects that further improve accuracy and consistency is underway before releasing longer term datasets.

Thematic Areas

Weather

Relevant Link(s)

NASA Langley Research Center SatCORPS Test datasets

Characteristics

Parent Satellite(s) Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain
Aqua, Terra, Suomi NPP, JPSS-1, JPSS-2, Meteosat-8, Meteosat-11, GOES-16, GOES-17, Himawari-8 Hourly 3 km Global

 

The Satellite Needs Working Group (SNWG) surveys federal civilian agencies biennially to identify their high-priority Earth observation data needs. After receiving survey responses, NASA-led assessment teams collaborate with other satellite Earth science data providers NOAA and USGS to pinpoint solutions that could potentially resolve these data gaps. The implementation of SNWG solutions is overseen by the SNWG Management Office at NASA's Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) and by other entities within NASA's Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program. Solutions from past SNWG survey cycles that are in formulation are described below. Toggle the tabs above to view solutions that are currently operational and in implementation.

Air Quality Forecasts and Distributed Pandora Sensors

Background

Image
Pandora sensor

The SNWG-2020 Assessment found that several agencies seek better air quality measurements and forecasts to support agency health and safety decisions. The improved data and forecasts would benefit domestic areas, such as heavily populated urban centers and rural agricultural regions, as well as international locations with poor air quality. Global-scale modeling of air quality and trace gasses provides key information in data-sparse regions of importance to many U.S. government agencies both internationally and domestically. The installation of Pandora air quality sensors internationally will improve air quality forecasts for health and safety decisions where the sensors will improve air quality measurements (i.e., NO2) in agriculture and rural regions.  NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) will integrate data from distributed Pandora sensors into the GEOS-Composition Forecast (GEOS-CF) model with downscaling approaches used for more precise air quality forecasts for the SNWG agencies. This SNWG-2020 solution will improve the U.S. government's ability to detect and forecast crucial air quality parameters in poorly sampled locations both domestic and international.   

Status

This activity is currently in formulation, with implementation expected to begin later in 2023.

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition

Relevant Link(s)

Characteristics

Parent Satellites Temporal Frequency Geographic Domain Latency
Pandora Project, GEOS-CF and GEOS-FP model output, Suomi NPP Hourly Select U.S. Embassies and agricultural sites 1-4 hours
Global HLS-derived Vegetation Indices Suite

Background

Image
HLS vegetation indices

The SNWG-2018 Assessment found that uniform, sub-weekly vegetation indices products would reduce duplicative processing efforts across the US government and would help to satisfy the satellite needs sought by several SNWG agencies. These vegetation indices (NDVI, EVI, SAVI, MSAVI, NDMI, NBR, NBR2, TVI, and NDWI) will be implemented later in 2023 and will be generated from the Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) surface reflectance products. This Vegetation Indices Suite (VIS) will be generated from the HLS archive (December 2015 for Sentinel-2 and April 2013 for Landsat) and will continue forward with future HLS acquisitions as part of the HLS production system.  

The SNWG-2016 Assessment identified and supported the production of a global HLS surface reflectance product, reducing differences between each sensor and providing global observations on a common set of grids to expedite processing and analysis. Surface reflectance information is routinely used to assess vegetation type, long-term changes in land use, disasters, and seasonal vegetation health as inferred through vegetation greenness. This information is obtained through vegetation indices that relate multiple HLS bands to specific parameters of interest as an instantaneous value, time series, or anomaly.   

Status

The SNWG-2020 HLS-VIS activity is currently in formulation, with implementation expected to begin later in 2023. The Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) will be added to the VIS in response to the SNWG Stakeholder Engagement Program reaching out to the participating agencies to verify the current VIS will have value and to learn if there were any missing indices that should be considered.  Data from Sentinel-2C will be incorporated in 2024.

Thematic Areas

Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Land Cover and Land Use, Solid Earth, Water

Relevant Link(s)

Product overview

Characteristics

Parent Satellites Temporal Frequency Horizontal Resolution Geographic Domain Latency Spectral Band
Landsat 8, Landsat 9, Sentinel-2 A, Sentinel-2 B, Sentinel-2 C 2-3 days 30 m Global 2-3 days VIS, NIR, SWIR
Merged GNSS-RO/Atmospheric Sounder Measurements for Planetary Boundary Layer Products

Background

Image
Spire GNSS-RO satellites

The SNWG-2020 Assessment found that several agencies sought consistent and harmonized measurements of the dynamic properties of Earth’s  Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL). PBL is the interface between the Earth’s surface and the lowermost 2-3 km atmosphere. Knowing its highly dynamic properties is vital to understand the diurnal, seasonal, and climate-scale variations of Earth’s atmospheric processes and is key to cloud formation and pollution dispersal. Hyperspectral sounders and related parameter retrievals measure the temperature, moisture, and other variables throughout the atmosphere (~1km vertical:~13km horizontal resolution). GNSS-Radio Occultations (GNSS-RO) also measure temperature and moisture throughout the atmosphere (~100m vertical: ~100km horizontal resolution). Combining hyperspectral sounder data with GNSS-RO data into a merged global product will advance PBL process science and will improve weather forecasting applications. The 2017 Decadal Survey identified PBL (DS-PBL) as an Instrument Incubator Program activity that seeks to identify and develop new technology to improve our understanding of the exchanges between the biosphere and the atmosphere, and likewise the air-sea exchanges of chemical and energy fluxes. The SNWG-PBL activity will provide a needed low-resolution dataset with current capabilities for requesting agencies as new technical capabilities mature in the DS-PBL activity. 

Status

This activity is currently in pre-formulation, with implementation expected to begin later in 2023.

Thematic Areas

Weather

TEMPO/GOES Near Real-Time Products

Background

Image
TEMPO

The SNWG-2020 Assessment found that many agencies sought low-latency air quality measurements to improve air quality forecasts for health and safety needs and found that the TEMPO mission measurements that are collected hourly over North America could directly satisfy these observational needs if the data latency was significantly reduced from the current 3-day science mission plan to near real time (NRT) at 3 hours to enable agency operational and modeling needs. TEMPO was launched in April 2023 and will provide key air quality measurements of trace gas constituents over North America from a geostationary orbit. These observations are important to the air quality forecasting and regulatory communities. The SNWG-2020 and SNWG-2022 survey respondents requested that some of the currently planned TEMPO products be expedited to NRT availability to assist in forecasting and modeling efforts. 

Status

This TEMPO NRT product suite is currently in pre-formulation, with implementation expected to begin later in 2023. The TEMPO team will produce NRT (3-hour) air quality products for NO2, HCHO, and O2-O2 clouds will be produced, along with a Level 1B product that will enable NOAA to produce a NRT aerosol product. The goal is to deliver TEMPO the NRT products with 1.5-hour latency. The activity, as originally proposed in SNWG-2020, also involved adapting established science algorithms from NASA's Ozone Monitoring Instrument to produce additional trace gas measurements; however, these enhanced products were not funded. Additional TEMPO NRT capabilities are being evaluated for the SNWG-2022 Assessment process.  

Thematic Areas

Atmospheric Composition

Relevant Link(s)

TEMPO

Last Updated
Jun 28, 2023