15 Years of Terra, 14 Years of Application Usage
Friday, 19 December 2014: 5:45 PM
The instruments onboard the Terra spacecraft were designed for long-term Earth science research but not long after launch it became apparent that this data and imagery could be made available in near real-time for applications users. During the year 2000 fire season in the western United States, the US Forest Service approached NASA with a request to expedite MODIS fire detections. The Rapid Response system was created to generate fire detections as well as true color imagery in both swath and geo-referenced formats. This imagery was used by a wide variety of applications, such as NASA’s AERONET program, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Antarctic resupply shipping, flood mapping for relief agencies, Deepwater Horizon monitoring, volcanic ash monitoring, as well as print, televised, and Internet media. From 2004, the University of Maryland’s Web Fire Mapper helped distribute fire detection information in a variety of formats. However, the applications community expressed the need for near-real time access to the underlying data. This requirement led to the development of the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (Earth Observing System) (LANCE) in 2009. To achieve the latency requirements, many components of the EOS satellite operations, ground and science processing systems had to be made more efficient. In addition, products that require ancillary data were modified to use alternate inputs. Forty Terra MODIS data products are currently available from LANCE. LANCE also includes data from other instruments including AIRS, AMSR-E, MLS, and OMI. To help near-real time users navigate this large data offering, a new imagery service was begun in 2011 – Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS). This service provides very responsive viewing using the Web Map Tile Service protocol. These programs will continue to support and expand the use of Terra data for near-real time applications well into the future.