An ad hoc committee will conduct a study to assess the needs and opportunities to develop a space-based operational land imaging capability. In particular, the committee will examine the elements of a sustained space-based Land Imaging Program with a focus on the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey role in such a program. The committee will:
1. Identify and/or validate primary organizations and segments of society and their fundamental historical, present-day, near-future, and long-term data, information, and service requirements that need to be supported by a sustained Land Imaging Program.
2. Identify and recommend characteristics and critical program support areas expected of a sustained Land Imaging Program including, but not limited to, the continuous operation and refinement of U.S. government-owned, spaceborne land-imaging capabilities (e.g., passive, as in optical land imaging; active, as in LiDAR or SAR measurements).
3. Suggest critical baseline products and services derived from sustained land imaging capabilities, including higher-level information products such as Climate Data Records and terrestrial Essential Climate Variables.
4. Considering the requirements for an operational land imaging capability, provide recommendations to facilitate the transition of single-mission NASA research-based land imaging technology or missions to sustained USGS Land Imaging Program technology or missions, including the relationships between USGS, NASA, and NOAA in developing, maintaining and effectively utilizing land imaging capabilities.
In conducting the study, the ad hoc committee will generate recommendations based on the committee’s own data gathering as well as input from the U.S. Earth science and applications community.