instruments. Thus, a validation and quality-assurance approach should be adopted that enables the near-real-time generation of research-quality data, which can be archived for future research. At the same time, research data should be made available to operational users to test and evaluate their potential value in operations. The involvement of operational centers in the early testing and use of research data sets has provided invaluable feedback to mission researchers. Early and continual data-management planning is essential if NASA and NOAA are to satisfy the multitudes of research and operational users.

Because long-term research data sets are primarily derived from operational systems, NOAA and NASA should jointly develop an approach for generating research-quality data sets from next-generation operational satellite sensors.

The relationship involving dynamic, positive feedback between research and operations highlights the importance of a strong cooperative relationship between NASA, NOAA, and DOD. As the rate of technological change increases and society becomes more dependent on the products and information provided by satellite remote sensing, these agencies’ ability to quickly transfer new satellite and sensor technologies, models and algorithms, and scientific knowledge into new applications and user products becomes even more critical (NRC, 2003).

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