1. Earth Science Applications and Societal Benefits

  2. Land-use Change, Ecosystem Dynamics, and Biodiversity

  3. Weather (including chemical weather and space weather)

  4. Climate Variability and Change

  5. Water Resources and the Global Hydrologic Cycle

  6. Human Health and Security

  7. Solid-Earth Hazards, Resources, and Dynamics

Based on their potential to contribute to research and/or applications and societal needs, each panel may select one or more of the concepts for further technical and cost assessments. The Panels will recommend, in priority order, a number of proposed missions for carrying out over the period 2005–2015, taking into account a set of established criteria as described below. The Executive Committee of the Decadal Study will interleave the Panel Recommendations, to produce a final set of recommended missions, in priority order.

Three categories of missions are solicited, following the approximate total (over lifetime of mission) cost guidelines:

  1. Small missions that cost less than $200 M.

  2. Medium-size missions that cost between $200 M and $500 M.

  3. Large missions that cost more than $500 M.

Each of the proposed missions may contribute to research or operations, or both. Note: Mission costs refer to costs that would be incurred by NASA in current (FY05) dollars.

We invite you to write a concept paper for a new space-based mission or measurement, from existing or new vantage points, that promises to advance an existing or new scientific objective, contribute to fundamental understanding of the Earth system, and/or facilitate the connection between Earth observations and societal needs. We anticipate concepts that will range from free-flying spacecraft to instruments that might be included in follow-ons or as additions to the NPOESS and GOES series of spacecraft. Constellations of spacecraft or spacecraft that fly in formation with existing, planned, or future satellites may also be considered.

All responses will be considered non-proprietary public information for distribution with attribution. The concept papers should be no longer than ten pages in length and provide the following information, if possible. [Additional information added 4/12/05:10-page limit is a rough guideline, not absolute limit, and refers to single-space text excluding references and front matter.]

  1. A summary of the mission concept, including the observational variable(s) to be measured, the characteristics of the measurement if known (accuracy, horizontal, vertical and temporal resolution), and domain of the Earth system (e.g. troposphere, upper-ocean, land surface).

  2. A description of how the proposed mission will help advance Earth science and/or applications, or provide a needed operational capability, for the next decade and beyond.

  3. A rough estimate of the total cost (large, medium, or small as defined above) of the proposed mission over ten years. For operational missions the costs should include one-time costs associated with building the instrument and launch and ongoing operational costs.

  4. A description of how the proposed mission meets one or more of the following criteria, which will be used to evaluate and prioritize the candidate proposals:

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