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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Committee on Environmental Satellite Data Utilization Space Studies Board Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 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 task group responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract NASW-01001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with technical participation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09235-3 (book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-53270-1 (PDF) Cover: This image of Earth is a compilation of several data sets produced by NASA’s Earth Observing System and includes cloud cover, vegetation, fires, and sea-surface temperature. From the data set for sea-surface temperature, the 1997-1998 El Niño is clearly visible. SOURCE: Courtesy of R.B. Husar, Washington University. Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine 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. Harvey V. Fineberg 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 chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond PERTINENT REPORTS OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD, THE BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE, AND THE AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services (BASC and the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, 2003) Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Environment: Accelerating the Transition of Research to Operations (2003) Review of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise Applications Program Plan (SSB, 2002) The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics (SSB, 2002) Assessment of the Usefulness and Availability of NASA’s Earth and Space Science Mission Data (SSB, 2002) Toward New Partnerships in Remote Sensing: Government, the Private Sector, and Earth Science Research (SSB, 2002) Assessment of the Usefulness and Availability of NASA’s Earth and Space Mission Data (SSB, 2002) A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Toward the Future (BASC, 2001) Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications (SSB, 2001) Assessment of Mission Size Trade-offs for NASA’s Earth and Space Science Missions (SSB, 2000) Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPP and NPOESS Meteorological Satellites (SSB, 2000) Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: I. Science and Design (SSB, 2000) Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: II. Implementation (SSB, 2000) “On Continuing Assessment of Technology Development in NASA’s Office of Space Science” (SSB, 2000) “On Review of Scientific Aspects of the NASA Triana Mission” (SSB, BASC, and the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, 2000) “On the Space Science Enterprise Draft Strategic Plan” (SSB, 2000) Review of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 (SSB, 2000) The Role of Small Satellites in NASA and NOAA Earth Observation Programs (SSB, 2000) Transition from Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction (BASC, 2000) “Assessment of NASA’s Plans for Post-2002 Earth Observing Missions” (SSB, BASC, and the Board on Sustainable Development, 1999) Adequacy of Climate Observing Systems (BASC, 1999) Copies of SSB reports are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-3477 email@example.com www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html NOTE: Listed according to year of approval for release.
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITE DATA UTILIZATION HUNG-LUNG ALLEN HUANG, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chair PHILIP E. ARDANUY, Raytheon Information Solutions JOHN R. CHRISTY, University of Alabama, Huntsville JAMES FREW, University of California, Santa Barbara SUSAN B. FRUCHTER, Smithsonian Institution ARIS GEORGAKAKOS, Georgia Institute of Technology YING-HWA (BILL) KUO, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research DAVID S. LINDEN, DSL Consulting, Inc. KEVIN PRICE, University of Kansas STEVEN W. RUNNING, University of Montana MARIJEAN T. SEELBACH, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company THOMAS H. VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University ROBERT A. WELLER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Staff ROBERT L. RIEMER, Study Director RICHARD LESHNER, Research Associate ROSALYN A. PERTZBORN, Assistant to Chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison (from August 2003) BRIAN OSBORNE, Assistant to Chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison (through July 2003) CLAUDETTE K. BAYLOR FLEMING, Senior Program Assistant
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond SPACE STUDIES BOARD LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan, Chair GEORGE A. PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired), Vice Chair DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado ANA P. BARROS, Duke University RETA F. BEEBE, New Mexico State University ROGER D. BLANDFORD, Stanford University RADFORD BYERLY, JR., University of Colorado JUDITH A. CURRY, Georgia Institute of Technology JACK D. FARMER, Arizona State University JACQUELINE N. HEWITT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DONALD INGBER, Harvard Medical School RALPH H. JACOBSON, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired) TAMARA E. JERNIGAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California, Los Angeles CALVIN W. LOWE, Bowie State University HARRY Y. McSWEEN, JR., University of Tennessee BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire NORMAN NEUREITER, Texas Instruments (retired) SUZANNE OPARIL, University of Alabama, Birmingham RONALD F. PROBSTEIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DENNIS W. READEY, Colorado School of Mines ANNA-LOUISE REYSENBACH, Portland State University ROALD Z. SAGDEEV, University of Maryland CAROLUS J. SCHRIJVER, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory HARVEY D. TANANBAUM, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory J. CRAIG WHEELER, University of Texas, Austin A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired) JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Director
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD WILLIAM W. HOOVER, U.S. Air Force (retired), Chair RUZENA K. BAJCSY, University of California, Berkeley JAMES (MICKY) BLACKWELL, Lockheed Martin (retired) EDWARD BOLEN, General Aviation Manufacturers Association ANTHONY J. BRODERICK, Aviation Safety Consultant SUSAN M. COUGHLIN, Aviation Safety Alliance ROBERT L. CRIPPEN, Thiokol Propulsion (retired) DONALD L. CROMER, U.S. Air Force and Hughes Space and Communications Company (retired) JOSEPH FULLER, JR., Futron Corporation RICHARD GOLASZEWSKI, GRA Incorporated S. MICHAEL HUDSON, Rolls-Royce North America (retired) JOHN L. JUNKINS, Texas A&M University JOHN M. KLINEBERG, Space Systems/Loral (retired) ILAN M. KROO, Stanford University JOHN K. LAUBER, Airbus Industrie of North America, Inc. GEORGE K. MUELLNER, The Boeing Company DAVA J. NEWMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MALCOLM R. O’NEILL, Lockheed Martin Corporation CYNTHIA SAMUELSON, Logistics Management Institute KATHRYN C. THORNTON, University of Virginia HANSEL E. TOOKES II, Raytheon International, Inc. (retired) ROBERT S. WALKER, Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates DIANNE S. WILEY, The Boeing Company THOMAS L. WILLIAMS, Northrop Grumman Corporation GEORGE M. LEVIN, Director
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ROBERT J. SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Chair FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, JR., McKenna, Long & Aldridge ROBERT C. BEARDSLEY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution MICHAEL A. BENDER, Brookhaven National Laboratory ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor RAFAEL L. BRAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MARY ANNE CARROLL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor WALTER F. DABBERDT, Vaisala, Inc. KERRY A. EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CASSANDRA G. FESEN, Dartmouth College JENNIFER A. LOGAN, Harvard University WILLIAM J. RANDEL, National Center for Atmospheric Research ROGER M. WAKIMOTO, University of California, Los Angeles JOHN C. WYNGAARD, Pennsylvania State University CHRIS ELFRING, Director
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Foreword One of the principal functions of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board is to anticipate problems and offer advice on how the relevant federal agencies can position themselves to avoid or mitigate particular issues. This report, Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond, is very much in that spirit. The issue addressed by this report is threefold. We are ever more in need of being good stewards of our planetary home. We have as a potential resource the increasing availability of useful and important environmental data, particularly from space. We have an ever-broadening community of users who, armed with the knowledge of our environmental past and present, can effectively apply this knowledge to improve their own lives and advance the public good. The question is how to link the need, the availability of data that can offer solutions, and the users who can apply these data. This report offers useful advice particularly to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has an increasingly important role in acquiring, but also in processing and archiving, environmental data and making it available to the broad and growing community of diverse users. Lennard A. Fisk, Chair Space Studies Board
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Preface In 2001, following a National Research Council (NRC)-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) workshop on opportunities for NOAA’s environmental satellite program, then Space Studies Board Chair John H. McElroy sent a letter to Gregory W. Withee, Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Services, outlining three potential studies (see Appendix A). After discussions with NOAA and NASA the Committee on Environmental Satellite Data Utilization was established to address the following tasks (see Appendix B): Review the likely multiplicity of uses of environmental data collected by the nation’s operational environmental satellites, both in terms of the disciplinary applications of the data (e.g., research, operations, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, rivers, coasts, fisheries, hydrology, agriculture, space weather) and in terms of the institutional or organizational origins of the users (e.g., intra-governmental (at all levels), international, regional, researchers, for-profit, non-profit, and educational entities). Characterize the likely interfaces between NOAA as a data provider and the range of data users, as well as third-party “added-value” commercial and non-profit users who broker applications by converting the data to a more usable form. Assess the implications of these multidirectional interfaces in terms of needs for (a) data accessibility and quality, (b) compatibility and cross-accessibility with data from other government sources, (c) data volume, (d) information technology, (e) user education, and (f) user participation in planning and performance feedback.
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Identify critical factors that may drive the evolution of data management responsibilities in areas such as real-time processing; data stream transparency, traceability, access, and characterization; data archiving and retrieval; and reprocessing. Recommend appropriate approaches to secure the engagement of the science and applications community in successfully dealing with the challenges identified in the tasks above and in enhancing the utilization of both active short-term and long-term NOAA data archives. This report presents the conclusions and recommendations developed by the committee in response to these tasks. For their help in making its study possible, the committee acknowledges the many individuals who provided briefings and background material. They include: Richard Anthes, Chair of the NRC Committee on NASA-NOAA Transition from Research to Operations and President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; Ghassem Asrar, Associate Administrator, NASA; John J. Bates, Chief, Remote Sensing Applications Division, National Climatic Data Center; William Belton, Assistant Remote Sensing Program Manager, USDA Forest Service; Robert “Buzz” Bernstein, SeaSpace, Inc; Marie Colton, Director, Office of Research and Applications, NOAA/NESDIS; Stanley Cutler, NOAA Consultant/Mitretek; Gerald Dittberner, Chief, Advanced System Planning Division, NOAA Satellite and Information Service; James Dodge, Research Division, Earth Science Enterprise, NASA; Bradley Doorn, Remote Sensing Specialist, Production Estimates and Crop Assessment Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA; Robert Feden, Chief of Staff, Office of the Special Assistant, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Networks and Information Integration)/Department of Defense, Chief Information Officer; Mitch Goldberg, Chief, Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division, Office of Research and Applications, NOAA; Geoffrey Goodrum, NOAA/NESDIS; Tony Hollingsworth, Head of Research, ECMWF; David Jones, President and CEO, StormCenter Communications, Inc.; Thomas R. Karl, Satellite and Information Services Director, National Climatic Data Center, NOAA; Christopher Lynnes, Systems Engineer, Goddard Earth Sciences Distributed Active Archive Center;
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Stephen Mango, Chief Scientist, NPOESS Integrated Project Office, NOAA; Ronald McPherson, Executive Director, American Meteorological Society; Paul Menzel, NESDIS/NOAA; Michael Moore, Dawn Lowe, Curt Schroeder, and Steve Fox, Raytheon; Michael Mussetto, NPOESS SSPR Project Scientist; H.K. Ramapriyan, R. Ullman, and K. McDonald, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Richard G. Reynolds, Chief, Ground Systems Division, Office of Systems Development, NOAA/NESDIS; Hans-Peter Roesli, Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSvizzera); Gary Route, NPOESS IDPS Chief Engineer; Stanley Schneider, IPO/NASA; Edward Sheffner, Applications Division, Earth Science Enterprise, NASA; James Silva, Manager, NPOESS Data Exploitation Project and NPOESS Implementation Manager, Office of Systems Development; Howard J. Singer, Chief, Research and Development Division, NOAA Space Environment Center; Gurindar Sohi, University of Wisconsin; John Townshend, Chair, Geology Department, University of Maryland, College Park; Jeffrey Tu, NPOESS System Architecture Lead; Louis Uccellini, Director, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, National Weather Service, NOAA; Eric Webster, Majority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Environment, Technology, and Standards, House Science Committee; David Williams, Head of Strategic Planning and International Relations, EUMETSAT; Gregory Williams, Senior Policy Analyst, Earth Science Enterprise, NASA; Gregory W. Withee, Associate Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, NOAA; and Helen M. Wood, Director, Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution, NOAA Satellite and Information Service.
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the 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 participation in the review of this report: Grant C. Aufderhaar, The Aerospace Corporation, Ana P. Barros, Duke University, Jim Gray, Microsoft Bay Area Research Center, Bruce D. Marcus, TRW (retired), John H. McElroy, University of Texas, Arlington (retired), J. Bernard Minster, University of California, San Diego, and Robert J. Serafin, National Center for Atmospheric Research. 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 Roberta Balstad, CIESIN, Columbia University, and
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond William G. Agnew, General Motors Corporation (retired). Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for 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.
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 ELEMENTS IN A DYNAMIC SYSTEM FOR DATA UTILIZATION 11 The Data Tsunami, 11 Bidirectional Interfaces in an End-to-End System to Meet Growing User Needs, 15 Challenges Posed by Technology Enablers and Trends, 16 Processing, 17 Storage, 17 Delivery, 17 Utilization, 18 Additional Challenges, 18 Ensuring Ready Access to High-Quality, Stable Data, 18 Transitioning to Advanced Polar and Geostationary Satellite Architectures, 18 Reconciling Stability and Change, 21 Algorithm Development: Spiral Model—The “Virtuous Cycle”, 21 Characterization of an End-to-End System for Optimal Use of Data, 23
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond 2 MULTIPLICITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITE DATA USES 25 Examples of Uses of Environmental Satellite Data in 2010, 25 Forecasting, 27 Monitoring of Climate Variability, 27 Detection of Global Change, 28 Economic Development, 29 Resolution of Legal Issues, 29 Public Health, 30 Transportation and Recreation, 30 Users of Environmental Satellite Data in 2010, 31 Volume of Requests Made for NOAA-NASA Products, 33 Scientific Applications of Environmental Satellite Data, 34 Commercial Applications, 35 Land Data and Land Management Agencies, 38 3 ENSURING DATA ACCESS AND UTILIZATION 42 Making It Easier to Use Environmental Satellite Data, 42 Meeting Users’ Requirements for Environmental Satellite Data, 44 Direct Users, 44 Indirect Users, 47 Toward Enhanced Data Utilization—A Sampling of Current Efforts, 48 The Geospatial One-Stop Initiative, 48 The Experience with EOSDIS, 50 Case Study of Temperature Measurements, 50 4 ASSESSING THE IMPLICATIONS OF MULTIDIRECTIONAL INTERFACES 53 Data Integrity and Quality, 53 Integrity, 53 Identity, 54 Quality, 54 Lineage, 54 Data Accessibility, 55 Information Technology, 56 User Education, 57 User Participation in Planning and Performance Feedback, 58
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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond 5 CRITICAL FACTORS DRIVING THE EVOLUTION OF OPERATIONAL SATELLITE DATA MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES 60 Real-Time Processing, 60 Data Stream and Product Transparency, 62 Data Archiving and Retrieval, 63 Geospatial One-Stop, 64 Reprocessing, 64 Product Characterization—Addressing the Skill Levels of Users, 66 NWP Data Assimilation Centers, 67 Operational Forecast Centers and Decision Support Systems, 69 Research Users, 70 Resources, 70 Partnership Responsibilities, 71 User Pull: Innovation—In the Eye of the Beholder, 73 Validation, 74 Algorithm Development, 75 Standard and Synergistic Development Process, 77 Availability of Documentation, 78 Mechanism for Portability, 79 Update Process, 79 Consistent Spectroradiometric Scales, 80 Obtaining Desired Accuracies, 80 Obtaining Inter-Comparable Data Sets, 82 6 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 83 The Value of and Need for Environmental Satellite Data in Addressing Specific User Needs, 84 The Distribution of Environmental Satellite Data, 86 Data Access and Utilization, 88 APPENDIXES A Letter to NOAA/NESDIS 93 B Statement of Task 102 C Previous NRC Statements, Findings, and Recommendations 106 D Case Studies 116 E Biographical Information for Committee Members and Staff 145 F Committee Meeting Summaries 151 G Acronyms 154
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