Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will conduct an assessment and prepare a report that will:

  1. Prioritize capabilities, especially those related to climate research, that were lost or placed at risk following recent changes to NPOESS and the GOES-R series of polar and geostationary environmental monitoring satellites. These include capabilities that were lost or degraded as a consequence of alterations in the planned constellation of spacecraft and/or the removal or reduction in scope of remaining instruments; and

  2. Present strategies to recover these capabilities.

In conducting its assessment, the committee will build on information from the workshop that will be conducted in June 2007 by the separately appointed NRC Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft and on the panel’s report expected to be issued in August 2007.

Included in this assessment will be the committee’s analysis of the capabilities and timeliness of the portfolio of missions recommended in the 2007 Earth Science and Applications from Space decadal survey to recover these capabilities, especially those related to research on Earth’s climate, and the potential role of existing and planned spacecraft operated by international partners and the role of existing and planned civil U.S. spacecraft. The committee will also make a preliminary evaluation of the risks, benefits, and costs of placing—on NPOESS, GOES-R, or other space-based platforms—alternative sensors to those originally planned.

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