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5 Opportunities on the Path Forward
Pages 44-50

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From page 44...
... government and its implementation partners, whether they are domestic contractors, international partners, or other teammates. By "collaborative approach," the committee means that the government and its partners should operate as a single unit from an operations standpoint, not as employees representing separate entities each with its own unique goals and priorities.
From page 45...
... Rather than acquiring satellites one-off, this model makes block buys. Purchasing multiple spacecraft at once would reduce nonrecurring engineering costs and permit the advance purchase of parts, thus reducing their cost and improving availability later in the program's life cycle.
From page 46...
... On the Suomi NPP satellite, the VIIRS instrument collects data at greater frequency though lower spatial resolution and may be suitable for some applications, particularly when sharpened by less frequently collected but finer resolution data to enable a degree of spectral unmixing.6 Finally, the EnhancedView contract, managed by NGA, collects commercial imagery that can be widely shared within federal government agencies, potentially satisfying some of their need for Landsat-type data, although the data from EnhancedView cannot be freely distributed to the public and, thus, does not offer the full value of a national land imaging program. None of these suggestions can replace a dedicated U.S.
From page 47...
... A small satellite carrying only a thermal infrared sensor, placed in a phased orbit with the primary Landsat, could cut revisit time in half for much less than the cost of a duplicate Landsat, with the benefit of estimating evapotranspiration for practical water resource management. Alternatively, a small satellite carrying only a simple land imaging instrument, such as a slightly enhanced Multispectral Imager (MSI)
From page 48...
... Nonetheless, options do exist to create a less costly, more robust SELIP, including the block buy of a sequence of missions, less cumbersome contracting processes, and technological innovations. Recommendation The Sustained and Enhanced Land Imaging Program should create an ambitious plan to incorporate opportunities to improve land imaging capabilities while at the same time increasing operational efficiency and reducing overall program cost.
From page 49...
... core land imaging requirements and seek formal data-sharing agreements with them; • Consider technological innovations, such as increasing the swath width and employing constellations of small satellites; • Incrementally incorporate new technologies that leverage industry, international, and other technology development activities but do not compromise core operational capabilities; • Accommodate candidates for improved or new instruments on a small satellite for the purpose of demonstrating new technologies; and • Take advantage of opportunities to fly as a secondary payload or as a shared ride.

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