Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Research Title: Earth Observing System Science

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 58.8
FY95 37.3
FY96 56.5

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%) Task Group on Data and Information Management
(b) Environmental Issue: Climate Change (45%), Natural Variability (15%), Global Change (20%), Ozone and UV (10%) Land-use Change (5%), Ocean Ecosystem Change (5%)
(c) Research Activity: System structure and function: Observation (50%), Understanding (10%), Prediction (5%) Data Management (30%); Impact and adaptation: Ecological Systems (5%)

Organization Component:
Earth Observing System Program Science Division
Office of Mission to Planet Earth
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546

Point of Contact:
Ghassem Asrar
Phone: 202-358-0266

Research Goals:
To provide an integrated, comprehensive measurement program for systematic observation of the whole Earth from space that will enable scientists to both monitor global change and study a wide range of processes governing the environment. In particular, EOS will provide observations and focused research on:

Research Description:
EOS is based on a rich scientific heritage; each instrument type baselined for EOS has flown, or will fly, prior to EOS launch, as a satellite, Space Shuttle, aircraft, or balloon payload. All the data will be reduced, analyzed, and made readily available to the EOS research community and others through the EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS). It includes algorithm development required for translating the raw instrument data into more usable information essential for specific scientific process model development. Scientific guidance of the development and deployment of EOS measurement capabilities is provided by selected interdisciplinary research teams and other scientific participants affiliated with and supporting each of the EOS instruments. The scientists funded under the EOS are developing new models and extending the capabilities of those that now exist, as well as analyzing current data that contribute to global change research. Their activities include developing conceptual, diagnostic, and predictive models along with data assimilation techniques for incorporating satellite and other data into such models. EOS is the centerpiece of the Global Change Research Program (GCRP). As such, the EOS mission embraces the overall goal and addresses each of the three scientific objectives of the U.S. GCRP. All of the scientific research elements of EOS have been selected through peer evaluation and have been reviewed by science advisory committees both at NASA and at the National Academy of Sciences. The EOS mission was reviewed and endorsed by the Earth System Sciences Committee. Appropriate agency, interagency, scientific, and international reviews have demonstrated that EOS is both scientifically and technically sound.

Program Interfaces:
EOS activities include participation by NOAA, USGS, and DOE in the development and operation of the EOSDIS. The NOAA Polar-Orbit Earth Observation Mission is coordinated with EOS activities, and EOS will provide new instruments with operational potential. NOAA will sample data streams from EOS instruments, and incorporate selected units into their operational meteorological satellite program once they are deemed sufficiently reliable. The EOS Program is now part of the NOAA/DOD/NASA Convergence plan. EOS has been planned and coordinated with the Earth observations programs of the European Space Agency (ESA), Canada, France, Japan, and United Kingdom. Discussions are underway with Space Agencies of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for their potential participation in EOS Program. A coordinated set of platforms and payloads will be launched, and the resulting data will be fully exchanged. Instruments from ESA, France, Canada, and Japan are slated for flight on NASA EOS platforms. NASA EOS instruments will also fly on Japanese Advanced Earth Observing System (ADEOS) platforms and the joint U.S-Japan Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM); and possibly a joint U.S.-France follow on to TOPEX/POSEIDON. Overall activities are guided by recommendations of the interagency Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources (Subcommittee on Global Change) , the relevant panels of the National Research Council (e.g., Climate Research Committee of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, and the Committee on Global Change, Space Studies Board), and other committees which work to define the U.S. Global Change Research Program. On the International level, EOS has scientific linkages to projects of the World Climate Research Program and of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program. The EOS Program also sponsors NASA participation in climate impact assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Japan and ESA are developing complementary programs, which together with EOS will make up the International Earth Observing System.

Program Milestones:
October 1994: EOSDIS Version 0 Information Management System will be released. November 1994: NASA Research Announcement for EOS Pathfinder Data Analysis and Research will be released. January-February 1995: All instruments and major spacecraft components for the AM-1 mission will pass the Critical Design Review. June 1995: Announcement of Opportunity for participation of young investigators and selection of Science Teams for some EOS Instruments will be issued. Mid-1995: EOSDIS Core System and EOS Communications will pass CDR phase. Late-1995: EOS Data and Operations System will pass Critical Design Review.

Policy Payoffs:
Current benefits from EOS-supported research include the enhanced production and availability of key geophysical data sets from past and ongoing satellite observations and new modeling results.