FIGURE 1.1 The complex end-to-end process of environmental satellite data utilization has many functional links and presents many opportunities for feedback between the processing steps in the overall system. SOURCE: Courtesy of Hung-Lung Allen Huang, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

of environmental satellites (see Box 1.1) will increase—up to 100 are to be launched between 2004 and 2014—as will their sensing capabilities. New user demands for cross-sensor and cross-satellite data products will bring additional new challenges that will have to be addressed not only at the system level, but also often by new national and international partnerships. The development of a large new segment of public and private sector service providers brings special challenges and opportunities. Advances in computing and storage technologies have enabled activities that were only dreamed of a few years ago. Now, NOAA must plan to deal with the ever-increasing wealth of environmental satellite data, as well as the growing number and sophistication of end users, while maintaining current operations. The challenges faced by those planning for environmental satellite data collection and management include not only handling this volume but also achieving the full potential of these data by educating more and increasingly diverse users and by providing for data archiving and retrieval that facilitate user access.



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