ing the project. The end-to-end diagram in Figure 1.1 starts with the mission concept and ends with the study and assessment of the impact of the mission. The study and assessment of impact also provide significant inputs and lessons learned to the planning of any future missions and to the execution of current missions. The circular end-to-end system for the process of satellite data utilization can be summarized as follows:

  • A vision of a mission by an expert, farsighted individual, team, or program office that demonstrates new ways of making unique and enhanced measurements or of meeting ongoing operational requirements;

  • Incorporation of users’ requirements and lessons learned into the guidelines for the configuration of the design and building of a new sensor system;

  • Instrument characterization, including efforts in calibration and navigation, which enables consistent measurements that allow certainty and generation of quality data products;

  • Product development and demonstration, and processing research, to ensure that the data products meet the requirements identified in the mission concept;

  • Validation of data and data products to characterize the accuracy and long-term stability of the measurements and products, with feedback for algorithm development and product generation before distribution and use recognized as vital;

  • Distribution and storage for downstream data access to allow indirect users and specific agencies to tailor the data for their own needs;

  • Other final links in the chain, including weather forecast applications, data assimilation, application for decision support systems, impact studies, and mission assessment;

  • Indirect use and applications utilizing a variety of satellite data product types and formats; and

  • Training and education across all functions in the process and links in the chain to ensure proactive and iterative collection, understanding, and embracing of operational users’ requirements and feedback.

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