Space-based observations of Earth have given us a view of the wonder and complexity of the planet. They also provide society with situational awareness of local-to-global environmental conditions and predictive guidance of near-term weather and related quantities (e.g., hydrology, air quality). While these capabilities have become indispensable to safeguarding life and property, as well as for providing guidance for near-term economic and resource management decisions, there are needs and opportunities to greatly expand their utility and impact. These needs result from the growing connectivity and complexities of our food, water, transportation, shipping, energy, communications, and health sectors.
The goal of this study program is to help accelerate discussions and plans for a greater and more impactful U.S. contribution to the global climate observing system. In this context, “climate” includes observations that support climate science and process understanding, as well as monitoring for environmental situational awareness, climate services, adaptation measures, and mitigation assessments. This includes accounting for the context provided by the international Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program and the Committee on Earth Observations from Space (CEOS), recent and anticipated developments in technology and access to space, and commercial data providers, and the formulation of concepts for future satellite system architectures to address missing observations in, and continuity of, the global climate observing system.
Workshop #1 Objectives:
For the purposes of this KISS study: “Continuity”, as an abbreviation, involves the technical and programmatic framework associated with developing and operating a set of well-calibrated, complementary satellite observations to support climate science and the associated decision-making related to sustainability and resilience.
The objectives for this first workshop is as follows:
- Establish consensus around the needs and challenges associated with “Continuity”.
- Considering the needs for climate science, mitigation, and adaptation, and
- Identifying technical, programmatic, and observing architecture design challenges.
- Review current and planned Earth observations and the national and international landscapes associated with their continuity and identify gaps in the program of record that represent areas where the U.S. could contribute.
- For one or more priority climate area, identify suites of observations and initial architecture designs to address continuity that will be evaluated, critiqued, and iterated offline in the gap weeks before workshop #2.
- Develop a consensus on a draft outline for the scope and content of a report from the study.