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Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space (2023)

Chapter: 4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary

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Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
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4

Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary

Table 4-1 provides a summary of the potential compatibility with the “notional platform” for the ESAS 2017 decadal survey1 Targeted Observables discussed in previous chapters, with a particular focus on crossing times and orbit altitudes because of their impact on the suitability for co-manifesting a large number of instruments on a single SSO platform. For each candidate measurement approach, a summary of key considerations and observing scenarios is provided based on information from the ESAS 2017 report, NASA decadal survey reports and study teams, and analysis by CESAS. CESAS did not attempt to conduct a comprehensive analysis to identify collections of compatible measurements given the number of permutations in instrument and orbital parameters, potential for “partial credit” for selected observables, and other complexities.

An informal review of measurement approaches suggests that perhaps 10 investigations could operate effectively on a single SSO platform with noon crossing time. Similar or smaller numbers of measurements are compatible with dawn-dusk or other daytime crossing times. However, when other factors such as orbit altitude are considered, the number of compatible measurements likely shrinks somewhat, particularly considering the diversity of passive and active sensors and requirements on spatial resolution, field of view, and revisit times. Hence, it is more likely that several satellites, each capable of hosting three or four instruments, will enable a more compelling portfolio of optimal science measurements than a single platform with 20 instruments at a given crossing time and altitude. In that case, the trade-off between a single platform and multiple multi-investigation satellites (neither of which is in the current program of record) may hinge primarily on cost, which is beyond the scope of this assessment. The committee is not recommending either approach at this time.

The committee notes that the greatest potential for the notional platform could be the ability to expedite instrument technology demonstration and incubator projects that may otherwise struggle to find opportunities for deployment in space given relative priorities compared to other parts of the NASA ESD portfolio, such as Earth System Explorers and Earth Venture. Instrument demonstration and incubator projects can often benefit from operation in space with orbits that are not necessarily optimized for science but offer opportunities to retire risk and advance sensor technology and retrieval algorithms.

___________________

1 NASEM, 2018, Thriving on Our Changing Planet.

Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×

TABLE 4-1 2017 ESAS Decadal Surveya Targeted Observables and Potential Use of the Notional Platform

Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform
“DESIGNATED”
Aerosolsc Aerosol properties, aerosol vertical profiles, and cloud properties to understand their effects on climate and air quality Backscatter lidar and multispectral (UV/Vis/IR)/multiangle/polarization imaging radiometer flown together on the same platform The daily dynamics of changing clouds and aerosols are needed to retrieve radiation to the land surface. Minimizing diurnal cloud cover may require morning observations in the tropics, where afternoon thunderstorms build up, but afternoon observations in high latitudes after morning fog dissipates. At high latitudes in winter time solar noon provides best illumination for retrievals.
Clouds, Convection, and Precipitationc Coupled cloud-precipitation state and dynamics for monitoring global hydrological cycle and understanding contributing processes, including cloud feedback Dual-frequency radar, with multi-frequency passive microwave and submillimeter radiometer The notional platform would have an SSO at 600–800 km in altitude with inclination around 98°. That gives good revisit times at higher latitudes, but not at lower latitudes. Part of the reason why that orbital configuration is useful is because of the international and Department of Defense partnerships—together they effectively give 4–6 hour refresh.
Mass Change Large-scale Earth dynamics measured by the changing mass distribution within and between Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, groundwater, and ice sheets Spacecraft ranging measurement of gravity anomaly With current technology, this measurement requires two spacecraft flying in orbits much lower than the notional platform. Time variations in the distribution in mass over the surface of Earth are measured with a pair of satellites orbiting at an altitude of <400 km and having an along-track spacing of 220 km. Increasing the altitude to 600–800 km will lead to a significant decrease in the spatial resolution, due to attenuation of gravity signals with altitude. In addition, the satellites should be in a near-polar, drifting orbit to have near-global coverage every month. The very demanding pointing and stability requirements of the two platforms—a laser or microwave ranging system measures changes in their distance apart to retrieve variations in the gravity field—would also argue against consideration of the notional platform.
Surface Biology and Geology Earth surface geology and biology, ground/water temperature, snow Hyperspectral imagery in the visible and shortwave IR, multi- Like the surface topography and vegetation observables, SBG requirements are heterogeneous; it is possible that the notional platform could host a particular hyperspectral, SWIR, or TIR instrument as a contribution to the decadal
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform
reflectivity, active geologic processes, vegetation traits, and aquatic biomass or hyperspectral imagery in the thermal IR.
  1. Moderate spatial resolution (30–45 m ground sample distance, hyperspectral resolution (10 nm; 400–2,500 nm), high fidelity (signal-to-noise ratio = 400:1 VNIR/250:1) imaging spectrometer is needed for characterizing land, inland aquatic, coastal zone, and shallow coral reef ecosystems.
  2. 30–60 m TIR observations in the 10.5–11.5 µm and 11.5–12.5 µm spectral region are needed with a 2–4 day revisit frequency.
survey requirements. However, to meet the objectives for this mission, SBG is being implemented with two spacecraft (TIR to be a free-flyer):
  • TIR: 665 km SSO, 13:30 local time (supports measurement of evapotranspiration), 3–5 day revisit time.
  • VSWIR: 632 km SSO, 10:45 local time, revisit time 16–22 days.

For details, see SBG working group Science and Applications Traceability Matrix.d

Surface Deformation and Change Earth surface dynamics from earthquakes and landslides to ice sheets and permafrost InSAR with ionospheric correction The primary method for measuring surface deformation and change is InSAR interferometry. This is an active microwave method that scans the surface of the solid Earth (or ice) over an approximately 200 km wide swath to the side of the ground track of the spacecraft. These are very large instruments with planar arrays of active radar modules typically 10 m long and 1.5 m wide. To achieve the interferometric accuracy needed for measuring interseismic deformation associated with tectonic plate boundaries, the satellite orbit must be accurate to 30 mm in the radial direction and 50 mm in the along/cross-track directions. The orbits must repeat to within a 250 m tube in space in order to maintain interferometric coherence; repeat cycle ranges between 12 days and 24 days depending on swath width. Constellations of smaller InSAR satellites can achieve the requirements from the ESAS 2017 decadal survey. The notional platform may be useful for development and testing of advanced synthetic aperture radars, but not for routine and long-term operations.
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform
“EARTH SYSTEM EXPLORERS”
Greenhouse Gases CO2 and methane fluxes and trends, global and regional with quantification of point sources and identification of sources and sinks Hyperspectral short wave IR sounders; or lidare The following were identified as possible individual Earth System Explorer options, one of which might be hosted on the notional platform:
  • Option 1: Quantifying and trending CO2 and CH4 fluxes at global to regional scale could be achieved with wide-swath, passive IR spectrometers on a single SSO platform with midday crossing time, 14-day revisit, higher (≥700 km) orbit; or
  • Option 2: Characterization of nocturnal and high-latitude CO2 and CH4 fluxes with narrow swath lidar sensors in lower (≤500 km) orbit and early morning/evening crossing times.

GHG objectives not achievable with this approach: (a) detection and quantification of point sources at high spatial resolution and daily/subdaily temporal resolution over large regions (requires many platforms with lower (≤400 km) orbits), (b) characterization of diurnal variability in CO2 and CH4 fluxes (requires either precessing LEO or GEO orbit).

Ice Elevation Global ice characterization including elevation change of land ice to assess sea level contributions and freeboard height of sea ice to assess sea ice/ocean/atmosphere interaction Lidarc The optimal orbit has an inclination of close to 90° (versus the notional platform’s 98°) to map the freeboard of the floating Arctic sea ice as well as to map the land ice elevation over the entire Antarctic continent. The revisit time should be 7 days to 1 month. The optimal altitude is approximately 500 km to minimize the laser power while operating at an altitude where concerns about errors introduced by atmospheric drag are lessened. The orbital accuracy needed to be better than 30 mm in the radial direction and 70 mm in the along/cross-track directions. Knowledge of the pointing of the laser needs to be better than 10 microradians while pointing accuracy needs to be better than 100 microradians.
Ocean Surface Winds and Currents Coincident high-accuracy currents and vector winds to assess air-sea momentum exchange and to infer upwelling, upper Doppler scatterometer

Global coverage, including the polar ocean, requires high-inclination orbits. Most scatterometer missions are Sun synchronous (orbit inclination ~98°), which is sufficient to meet WaCM goals, provided Sun-synchronous signals, such as tides, can be removed reliably. While the elevation changes due to tides are well known in the deep ocean,f their surface velocity expression has been less validated. Other

Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform
ocean mixing, and sea-ice drift

high-inclination non-SSOs in the range between 82° and 98°, which may have better diurnal and tidal sampling, would also meet WaCM observation requirements.”g

Additional notes:

  • One of WaCM’s cost drivers is the radar radio frequency source, because power drives the size and complexity of the spacecraft.g
  • The notional platform’s equator crossing time could affect its suitability as a host for WaCM, particularly if it is envisioned as part of a global constellation.
Ozone and Trace Gases Vertical profiles of ozone and trace gases (including water vapor, CO, NO2, methane, and N2O) globally and with high spatial resolution UV/Vis/IR nadir sounding, microwave limb sounding. UV/Vis/IR solar/stellar occultation. Lidar. For example, DIAL operating on one of the ozone lines in UV and a near window The large platform may not meet requirements for long-term monitoring. A HIRDLS type instrument (provided its optical path does not get blocked) could be a candidate for the notional platform (sacrificing horizontal coverage and resolution and temporal revisit times).
Snow Depth and Snow Water Equivalent Snow depth and snow water equivalent, including high spatial resolution in mountain areas Radar (Ka/Ku band) altimeter; or lidarc

Snow depth may be inferred from lidar measurements (snow-on minus snow-off) and change in SWE from L-band InSAR (or possibly C-, X-, and Ku-band SAR instruments that can do InSAR). SWE can be estimated from C-, X-, and Ku-band SAR instruments at high-spatial resolution on the order of tens of meters; P-band SAR may also be useful as it can penetrate forests to provide subcanopy SWE. Model integration with SAR has been effective in very steep watersheds (without vegetation). The optimal orbit for such measurements is a Sun-synchronous/near-polar orbit with a 6:00 am crossing.

In general, meeting the need to map SWE at watershed scales in mountain regions, including where forests are present, and mapping SWE across large spatial extent globally, will require a constellation of radars. Measurement needs:

  • Crossing time: Pre-dawn observations are needed before surficial melt. SWE estimates from radar require dry or refrozen snow.
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform
  • Revisit interval of 310 days would capture synoptic-scale snowstorm frequency and snow accumulation and ablation.
  • Pointing precision and fixed viewing geometry are critical for SAR revisits as time-series is essential to detect change.
  • Any L-band reflectometry should also be able to map changes in SWE as, for instance, from GNSS-R.

Spatial Resolution for Snow Depth and SWE: In mountain watersheds where snowmelt runoff is critical, snow depth and changes in SWE are needed at a spatial resolution of 20–100 m in order to capture the spatial variability in forested and complex topography.

Terrestrial Ecosystem Structure 3D structure of terrestrial ecosystem including forest canopy and above ground biomass and changes in above ground carbon stock from processes such as deforestation and forest degradation Lidare some heritage from MODIS VIS/NIR Canopy LAI for photosynthesis and evapotranspiration algorithms. Plant height and density for biomass estimates and respiration algorithms. Complementary with MODIS and VIIRS LAI data sets. Narrow lidar swath requires high repeat cycle, especially for seasonal phenology. Biomass separation of forest versus understory and live/dead separation for decomposition and full carbon balance algorithms. Arctic and boreal latitudes critical for biosphere change detection. Lidar on the notional platform problematical given the assumed orbit at 600800 km altitude.
Atmospheric Winds Active sensing (lidar, radar, scatterometer); passive imagery or radiometry-based AMVs tracking; or lidare

Synergistic measurement approaches will likely be required, thus limiting the notional large platform to meet this goal:

Active techniques:

  • Lidar: 3D winds can be retrieved using Doppler wind lidar, which provides line-of-sight winds with good vertical resolution by tracking aerosols which are always present. However, the 600800 km altitude of the notional platform does not support this measurement. ESA’s Aeolus mission uses a direct detection UV laser lidar, which required placement in a very low-altitude (~320 km) orbit (SSO with an early morning crossing time (dawn-dusk) to provide maximum illumination from the Sun and a stable thermal environment). Observations of the wind will be taken from the night side of the satellite to avoid the solar background. While orbiting over the hemisphere experiencing winter, the satellite will enter Earth’s shadow for up
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform

    to 20 minutes per orbit. This means that the satellite will be subjected to huge temperature changes as it passes from day to night. The thermal design is, therefore, robust.h

  • Ku-band scatterometer (e.g., SeaWinds on QuickScat, which is in a SSO at ~809 km with a crossing time of ~6:00 am). Provides ocean surface wind speeds (horizontal) and direction.

Passive:

  • Imagery: MISR on EOS Terra (SSO, 705 km, 10:30 am) acquires imagery using cloud or water vapor tracers (daylight only due to wavelengths used) at 275 m resolution at nine angles ranging from 0° (nadir) to 70° off-nadir. This multi-angle capability facilitates the stereoscopic retrieval of heights and AMVs for clouds and aerosol plumes.
  • Radiometry: Microwave emission from the ocean surface varies based on wind speed and wind direction. Polarimetric microwave observations made by WindSat (SSO, 840 km, 98.7°) and COWVR, which is operating on the ISS, have demonstrated this technique for measuring ocean surface wind vectors. However, the presence of significant cloud liquid water presents significant challenges for the passive polarimetric technique and thus limits its utility in supporting operational marine weather forecasting and warning.i
Planetary Boundary Layer Diurnal 3D PBL thermodynamic properties and 2D PBL structure to understand the impact of PBL processes on weather and air quality through high vertical and temporal profiling of PBL temperature, moisture and heights Microwave, hyperspectral IR sounder(s) (e.g., in GEO or SmallSat constellation), GPS radio occultation for diurnal PBL temperature and humidity and heights; water vapor profiling DIAL lidar; and lidare for PBL height To meet the objectives, a combination of space-based and in situ measurement approaches will be required. Constrained to a particular inclination, altitude, and crossing time in an SSO, the notional platform would be a suitable host for only some of requisite space-based measurements. For example, for determining the diurnal variability of the height of the PBL on seasonal and regional scales, a non-SSO is optimal. Lidar measurements from the assumed 600–800 km altitude of the notional platform may also be problematical (ICESat-2 orbits at 500 km).
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform
Surface Topography and Vegetation High-resolution global topography including bare surface land topography ice topography, vegetation structure, and shallow water bathymetry Radar or lidare or stereogrammetry

STV requirements from the ESAS 2017 decadal survey are in the Incubation category. The requirements, and possible observational strategies, are currently being defined by the NASA STV study team.j There are five areas of observations needed: solid Earth topography and change; vegetation structure and change; cryosphere topography and change; hydrology topography/shallow water bathymetry and change; and coastal processes and change. As shown in the STV report’s Science and Applications Traceability Matrix, the requirements for spatial resolution, vertical accuracy, revisit time, and event latency are heterogeneous. Moreover, three types of instruments will contribute to this Targeted Observable, including lidar, radar, and stereogrammetry. The required host platforms range from drones to low- and high-flying aircraft to spacecraft (mostly commercial). However, a conclusion from the STV report is that the commercial sector does not provide the global products needed to address this Targeted Observable.

There are perhaps several areas where the notional platform could contribute. These would most likely be related to global stereogrammetry at moderate spatial resolution 1–10 m and multibeam lidar development. In addition, the data volumes from these instruments are much larger than most downlink capabilities. A notional platform with onboard processing capability would provide needed capabilities. It could also be used to explore onboard processing and data fusion methods to reduce downlink requirements (e.g., see onboard processing for the NASA SWOT mission).

“UNALLOCATED”
Radiance Intercalibration (One of seven high-priority Targeted Observables that could not be accommodated in

Climate sensitivity

Inter-calibration of inflight radiometers

Pan-spectral, spectrally resolved high accuracy SI-traceablek radiance

Noting heritage to CLARREO, ESAS 2017 decadal survey states, “Best achieved by seeking lower-cost options, such as Venture-Continuity, to enable multi-decade continuity of this important measurement.” The committee notes the potential utility of the notional platform as a host for instruments selected as part of NASA’s Earth Venture, with the EV-C strand being of particular interest. EV-C is directed toward long-term acquisition of key continuity observations through innovative technology infusion.

Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Based on ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey Table 3.3 Additional Information from the ESAS 2017 Decadal Survey, NASA Decadal Survey Working Groups and Study Teams,b and Analysis by the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
Targeted Observable Science and Applications Summary Candidate Measurement Approach Orbit, Crossing Time, Revisit, and Other Considerations Relevant to the Suitability of the Notional >20 Instrument SSO Platform
the recommended program)

Many of the factors that would determine whether the notional platform is a viable option for continuity measurements are beyond the scope of this study. The recommendation from ESAS 2017—one the committee fully supports—is that NASA ESD, “lead the development of a more formal continuity decision process (as in NASEM, 2015l) to determine which satellite measurements have the highest priority for continuation, then work with U.S. and international partners to develop an international strategy for obtaining and sharing those measurements.”b

a NASA Earth Science Division, “Decadal Survey,” https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/decadal-surveys.

b National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), 2018, Thriving on Our Changing Planet: A Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, https://doi.org/10.17226/24938.

c A and CCP were combined into a single mission, ACCP, which subsequently became the Atmosphere Observing System (AOS). AOS is envisioned as a constellation with two satellites traveling in a polar orbit—passing over both poles with each satellite pass—and two satellites traveling in a 55° inclined orbit similar to that used for the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM). A single platform in SSO would not be suitable for the required measurements.

d E.N. Stavros, J. Chrone, K. Cawse-Nicholson, et al., 2022, “The Surface Biology and Geology Architecture Study Science and Applications Traceability Matrix (SATM),” data set, March 3, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6325668.

e Could potentially be addressed by a multifunction lidar designed to address two or more of the Targeted Observables.b

f D. Stammer and A. Cazenave, 2017, Satellite Altimetry Over Oceans and Land Surfaces, CRC Press, https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315151779.

g E. Rodriguez, M. Bourassa, D. Chelton, et al., 2019, “The Winds and Currents Mission Concept,” Frontiers in Marine Science, Vol. 6, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00438.

h European Space Agency, “Aeolus Satellite,” https://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/FutureEO/Aeolus/Aeolus_satellite.

i National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Ocean Surface Winds,” https://manati.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/products.php.

j NASA, “Surface Topography and Vegetation (STV),” https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/decadal-stv.

k The measurement is metrologically traceable to the International System of Units (SI). See https://www.nist.gov/mml/csd/organic-chemical-metrology/primary-focus-areas/fundamental-chemical-metrology/si.

l NASEM, 2015, Continuity of NASA Earth Observations from Space: A Value Framework, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, https://doi.org/10.17226/21789.

NOTE: Acronyms are defined in Appendix C.

Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×

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Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Page 36
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Page 37
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Page 38
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
Page 39
Suggested Citation:"4 Addressing Decadal Survey Priorities with the Notional Platform: A High-Level Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27019.
×
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 Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments: Report Series—Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
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Space-based Earth observations enable global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, cryosphere, and oceans. Earth observations from space, combined with data acquired from in situ and ground-based instruments, help scientists understand the components of the Earth system and their interactions and enable wide-ranging applications, including forecasts of weather and air quality, projections of future climate, management of natural resources, ecological forecasting, disaster management, drought and wildfire prediction, and the mapping and prediction of vector borne/animal diseases.

At the request of NASA Earth Science Division, this report assesses the potential use of a proposed multi-user, robot-tended, uncrewed commercial space platform as a potential host for a large number of Earth remote sensing instruments. Assessment of Commercial Space Platforms for Earth Science Instruments evaluates the utility and practicality of a platform in a Sun-synchronous orbit, capable of hosting 20 or more instruments.

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