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21 February 2001 Technology thrusts for future Earth science applications
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This paper presents NASA's recent direction to invest in the critical science instrument and platform technologies in order to realize more reliable, frequent and versatile missions for future Earth Science measurements. Historically, NASA's Earth Science Enterprise has developed and flown science missions that have been large in size, mass and volume. These missions have taken much longer to implement due to technology development time, and have carried a large suite of instruments on a large spacecraft. NASA is now facing an era where the budget for the future years is more or less flat and the possibility for any major new start does not vividly appear on the horizon. Unfortunately, the scientific measurement needs for remote sensing have not shrunk to commensurate with the budget constraints. In fact, the challenges and scientific appetite in search of answers to a score of outstanding questions have been gradually expanding. With these factors in mind, for the last three years NASA has been changing its focus to concentrate on how to take advantage of smaller missions by relying on industry, and minimizing the overall mission life cycle by developing technologies that are independent of the mission implementation cycle. The major redirection of early investment in the critical technologies should eventually have its rewards and significantly reduce the mission development period. Needless to say, in the long run this approach should save money, minimize risk, promote or encourage partnering, allow for a rapid response to measurement needs, and enable frequent missions making a wider variety of earth science measurements. This paper gives an overview of some of the identified crucial technologies and their intended applications for meeting the future Earth Science challenges.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Shahid Habib "Technology thrusts for future Earth science applications", Proc. SPIE 4150, Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Clouds II, (21 February 2001); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.416951
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