Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications

Steering Committee on Space Applications and Commercialization

Space Studies Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
and

Ocean Studies Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications Steering Committee on Space Applications and Commercialization Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences and Ocean Studies Board Division on Earth and Life Studies National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Contract No. NASW-96013, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Contract No. 50-DKNA-6-90040, Stennis Space Center Order No. NS-7426, Environmental Protection Agency Grant No. X-82821401, Department of Transportation Order No. DTRS56-00-P-70077, U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Agreement No. 00HQAG0204, and Department of the Army Order No. DACA89-99-M-0147. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. Cover images, left to right: (1) Landsat 7 image of coral reefs at Plantantion Key, Florida, formed from buildups of calcium carbonate deposited from the skeletal remains of anthozoan cnidarians; (2) view of Santa Barbara, California, toward the northeast (with the Goleta Valley in the foreground and snow-capped Mount Abel along the skyline), generated from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and an enhanced Landsat satellite image; and (3) composite of two images from the Spaceborne Imaging Radar C/X-Band synthetic aperture radar flown on the space shuttle, showing two large ocean eddies at the northeast edge of the sea ice pack in the Weddell Sea, off Antarctica. SOURCE: See <http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/cgi-bin>. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08271-4 Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I.Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. Wm. A.Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications STEERING COMMITTEE ON SPACE APPLICATIONS AND COMMERCIALIZATION ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, Columbia University, Chair MARK R.ABBOTT,* Oregon State University LAWRENCE W.HARDING, JR., Horn Point Laboratory JOHN R.JENSEN, University of South Carolina CHRIS J.JOHANNSEN, Purdue University MOLLY MACAULEY, Resources for the Future JOHN S.MacDONALD, Institute for Pacific Ocean Science and Technology JAY S.PEARLMAN, TRW, Inc. Staff PAMELA L.WHITNEY, Study Director DAN WALKER, Senior Program Officer JULIE ESANU, Program Officer KIRSTEN ARMSTRONG, Research Assistant CARMELA J.CHAMBERLAIN, Senior Project Assistant *   Until April 2001.

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications SPACE STUDIES BOARD JOHN H.McELROY, University of Texas at Arlington (retired), Chair ROGER P.ANGEL, JR., University of Arizona JAMES P.BAGIAN, Veterans Health Administration’s National Center for Patient Safety JAMES L.BURCH, Southwest Research Institute RADFORD BYERLY, JR., Boulder, Colorado ROBERT E.CLELAND, University of Washington HOWARD M.EINSPAHR, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute STEVEN H.FLAJSER, Loral Space and Communications Ltd. MICHAEL FREILICH, Oregon State University DON P.GIDDENS, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University RALPH H.JACOBSON, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired) CONWAY LEOVY, University of Washington JONATHAN I.LUNINE, University of Arizona BRUCE D.MARCUS, TRW, Inc. (retired) RICHARD A.McCRAY, University of Colorado HARRY Y.McSWEEN, JR., University of Tennessee GARY J.OLSEN, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GEORGE A.PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired) ROBERT ROSNER, University of Chicago ROBERT J.SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research EUGENE B.SKOLNIKOFF, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MITCHELL SOGIN, Marine Biological Laboratory C.MEGAN URRY, Yale University PETER VOORHEES, Northwestern University JOHN A.WOOD, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics JOSEPH K.ALEXANDER, Director

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications OCEAN STUDIES BOARD KENNETH BRINK, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Chair ARTHUR BAGGEROER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JAMES COLEMAN, Louisiana State University CORTIS COOPER, Chevron Petroleum Technology Company LARRY CROWDER, Duke University G.BRENT DALRYMPLE, Oregon State University (retired) EARL DOYLE, Shell Oil (retired) ROBERT DUCE, Texas A&M University D.JAY GRIMES, University of Southern Mississippi RAY HILBORN, University of Washington MIRIAM KASTNER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography CINDY LEE, State University of New York at Stony Brook ROGER LUKAS, University of Hawaii, Honolulu BONNIE McCAY, Rutgers University RAM MOHAN, Blasland, Bouck & Lee, Inc. SCOTT NIXON, University of Rhode Island NANCY RABALAIS, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium WALTER SCHMIDT, Florida Geological Survey JON SUTINEN, University of Rhode Island NANCY TARGETT, University of Delaware PAUL TOBIN, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association MORGAN GOPNIK, Director

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications Preface For several years, the Space Studies Board has recognized the significance of both the acceleration of opportunities for practical and operational applications of Earth observations from space and the changing economic and commercial environment for the production and management of remote sensing images. There has long been an interest throughout the remote sensing community in the development of applications. Over the past several years the combination of technological advances in remote sensing, the development of compatible geographic information software, the increased availability of data at usable scales, and greater diversity in data sources and infrastructure support have made widespread and diverse applications feasible in a broad variety of new sectors. During this same period, changes have been taking place in the roles played by data producers and consumers in the public and private sectors, the universities, and the value-adding community. Changes in the economic and policy environment for remote sensing, the growth of a commercial remote sensing industry, the expansion and proliferation of data sources worldwide, and the greater breadth of remote sensing data provided by federal agencies are the result of a number of interacting market, policy, and budgetary opportunities and incentives. To gather data on and explore the implications of these significant changes in the environment for the production and use of remote sensing images, the Space Studies Board initiated a series of three workshops to focus on three broad areas: (1) the extension of remote sensing technologies and products into operational applications through technology transfer; (2) the conduct of scientific research in the new and evolving remote sensing environment; and (3) the development and

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications use of remote sensing applications in the public sector, specifically state and local government. The board sought and obtained sponsorship for the series from several government agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Headquarters and Stennis Space Center), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Ocean Service and National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service), Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Geological Survey. The first workshop, entitled “Moving Remote Sensing from Research to Applications: Case Studies of the Knowledge Transfer Process,” was held at the National Academies’ building in Washington, D.C., on May 3–4, 2000. The workshop included participants from federal agencies and not-for-profit organizations, academic researchers, state and local government representatives, and private sector representatives. Recognizing that the coastal zone is a particularly vital environmental arena that would benefit from enhanced remote sensing applications, the Space Studies Board collaborated with the Ocean Studies Board to develop a project whose purpose was to do the following: Illustrate how ground-based and in situ data collected for monitoring and assessment can be augmented by remote sensing data and images; Illustrate how an area understood in a research and scientific context can be developed for an applications focus; Introduce the coastal engineering and marine science community to existing or future remote sensing data applicable to challenges faced by the coastal engineering and marine science community (e.g., problems related to hypoxia, water quality, sediment transport, and other issues); Call attention to science policy issues related to the increased emphasis on the commercialization and applications of remote sensing data; and Evaluate the efficacy of the workshop format in bridging the gap between remote sensing technology and potential remote sensing user communities. To prepare this report, the Steering Committee on Space Applications and Commercialization (Appendix A) drew on information from several sources: the workshop itself, including information presented by plenary speakers, in splinter sessions, and in case study presentations (Appendix B gives the workshop agenda); information presented at the planning meeting held by the steering committee in December 1999 and attended by representatives of the various sponsoring agencies and other interested individuals (Appendix C gives the agenda); and steering committee research and deliberations during and after the workshop. Not intended as a formal study of technology transfer in the context of remote sensing applications, this report reflects input received from and discussions held with a broad spectrum of actual and potential users of applications of

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications remote sensing data,1 with a special focus on the coastal zone. The steering committee drew on this material to prepare findings and recommendations aimed at improving the process of moving remote sensing research to operational applications. In assessing its charge, the steering committee quickly realized that one item, to “introduce the coastal engineering and marine science community to existing or future remote sensing data applicable to challenges faced by the coastal engineering and marine science community,” not only would entail an attempt to conduct technology transfer during the workshop, but also would detract from discussions about critical elements of technology transfer in the development of a broader spectrum of remote sensing applications. The steering committee thus chose to focus on extant cases, selected in collaboration with the Ocean Studies Board and experts in coastal science and engineering, of the application of remote sensing to problems in coastal science and engineering rather than on the use of remote sensing data to create new applications. This report is directed at a diverse and growing audience, including an array of federal agencies and the broad remote sensing applications community, which comprises public and private sector providers of data, value-adding service providers, current and potential users of remote sensing data, scientists and engineers whose work spans the continuum from science to applications, and policy makers in federal, state, and local government. A similarly broad audience will be addressed by the steering committee’s two remaining reports in this series. 1   A concerted effort was made to include a balance of government, academic, not-for-profit, and private sector participants at the workshop. However, only a small number of private sector representatives attended, perhaps due to organizational schedules and demands. The steering committee is taking steps to increase private sector participation in the two additional workshops it will conduct.

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with the procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of the report: Peter Banks, XR Ventures, LLC, John A.Harrington, Jr., Kansas State University, Robert C.Harriss, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Christopher T.Hill, George Mason University, Jean-Michel M.Rendu, Newmont Mining Corporation (retired), Walter Schmidt, Florida Geological Survey, and James Yoder, University of Rhode Island. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John V.Evans, Comsat Corporation (retired). Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   REALIZING THE POTENTIAL OF REMOTE SENSING   7     Background,   8     Turning Remote Sensing Data into Information,   13     Bridging the Knowledge Gap,   16     Moving from Research to Applications,   19 2   MEETING THE INFORMATION NEEDS OF END USERS IN THE COASTAL ZONE   23     Unique Capabilities, and Some Current Limitations, of Remote Sensing,   24     Meeting User Requirements: Observations Based on the Case Studies,   25     Improving the Prospects for Remote Sensing Technology Transfer,   29 3   RESPONDING TO ISSUES CRITICAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS   34     Cost-Effectiveness of Applications,   34     Timeliness of Data,   38     Reliability and Continuity of Data,   40     Data Formats and Standards,   41     Education, Training, and the Remote Sensing Workforce,   42     Intellectual Property Issues,   44

OCR for page R1
Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications 4   RECOMMENDATIONS   46     Bridging Gaps,   46     Transferring Technology,   47     Findings and Recommendations,   48     APPENDIXES         A Biographical Information for Steering Committee Members and Workshop Speakers   57     B Workshop Agenda and Participants   66     C Planning Meeting Agenda   71     D Acronyms   74