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Earth observations from space: History, promise, and reality. Executive summaryIn this report the Committee on Earth Studies (CES), a standing committee of the Space Studies Board (SSB) within the National Research Council (NRC), reviews the recent history (nominally from 1981 to 1995) of the U.S. earth observations programs that serve civilian needs. The principal observations programs examined are those of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Air Force' s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) is discussed, but only from the perspective of its relationship to civil needs and the planned merger with the NOAA polar-orbiting system. The report also reviews the interfaces between the earth observations satellite programs and the major national and international environmental monitoring and research programs. The monitoring and research programs discussed are the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), the World Climate Research Program (WCRP), related international scientific campaigns, and operational programs for the sharing and application of environmental data. The purpose of this report is to provide a broad historical review and commentary based on the views of the CES members, with particular emphasis on tracing the lengthy record of advisory committee recommendations. Any individual topic could be the subject of an extended report in its own right. Indeed, extensive further reviews are already under way to that end. If the CES has succeeded in the task it has undertaken. This report will serve as a useful starting point for any such more intensive study. The report is divided into eight chapters: ( I ) an introduction, (2) the evolution of the MTPE, (3) its relationship to the USGCRP, (4) applications of earth observations data, (5) the role that smaller satellites can play in research and operational remote sensing, (6) earth system modeling and information systems, (7) a number of associated activities that contribute to the MTPE and the USGCRP, and (8) organizational issues in the conduct of civil earth observations programs. Following the body of the report is a series of appendixes: after a list of acronyms and abbreviations and collected short biographies of CES members, six brief tutorials discuss several scientific topics important to the science and applications of earth observations. Highlights from the eight chapters follow.
Document ID
19960003356
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Subject Category
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING
Report/Patent Number
NIPS-95-05291
NAS 1.26:199588
NASA-CR-199588
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NOAA-50-DGNE-1-00137
CONTRACT_GRANT: NASW-4627
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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