The Role of Suomi NPP VIIRS Data in Land Science and Applications.
Abstract:The current Suomi-NPP mission was designed as a bridging mission to the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) next-generation, operational satellites. The VIIRS instrument on-board Suomi-NPP provides continuity with NASA's Earth Observing System Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations and a much-needed replacement of the long-serving, operational NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) system, to meet the expanding needs of Earth Science and Applications of Societal Benefit. Post-launch evaluation has proven the instrument to be excellent for land observations and capable of providing measurement continuity with MODIS. This provides a critical contribution to the scientific study of global change. Several regions of the World are undergoing rapid land transformations, driven by economic development and population growth. In addition, changes in climate conditions are resulting in ecosystem responses and changes in land cover and land use. Long-term, systematic observations of the global land surface at coarse resolution enable detection, monitoring and characterization of such changes to the land surface.
A suite of Land environmental data records (EDRs) from the VIIRS, are being developed by NOAA to meet operational data needs, primarily for the National Weather Service (e.g., Albedo, Land Surface Temperature, Fractional Vegetation Cover, Surface Type, Snow and Ice Monitoring). Scientists funded by NOAA and NASA, have been evaluating and validating these products. Based on these evaluations, NASA is embarking on a program to develop enhanced and additional products to provide continuity with MODIS to meet the needs of the global change science community.
In addition, and as with MODIS, data from the VIIRS can be used as input to a number of practical applications of societal benefit and the associated decision support systems. For example, progress with VIIRS data is being made in the areas of fire and agricultural monitoring. These applications are being developed to meet national needs and international needs in the framework of the GOFC-GOLD and GEOGLAM Programs.