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Implementation of a Sustained Land Imaging Program

Announcement: Report released: Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation's Land Imaging Program (2013)

Statement of Task

An ad-hoc committee will conduct a study to assess the needs and opportunities to develop a space-based operational land imaging capability. In particular, the committee will examine the elements of a sustained space-based Land Imaging Program with a focus on the Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey role in such a program.

The committee will:

  • Identify and/or validate primary organizations and segments of society and their fundamental historical, present-day, near-future, and long-term data, information, and service requirements that need to be supported by a sustained Land Imaging Program.
  • Identify and recommend characteristics and critical program support areas expected of a sustained Land Imaging Program including, but not limited to, the continuous operation and refinement of U.S. government-owned, spaceborne land-imaging capabilities (e.g., passive, as in optical land imaging; active, as in LiDAR or SAR measurements).
  • Suggest critical baseline products and services derived from sustained land imaging capabilities, including higher-level information products such as Climate Data Records (CDRs) and terrestrial Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)..
  • Considering the requirements for an operational land imaging capability, provide recommendations to facilitate the transition of single-mission NASA research-based land imaging technology or missions to sustained USGS Land Imaging Program technology or missions, including the relationships between USGS, NASA, and NOAA in developing, maintaining and effectively utilizing land imaging capabilities.

In conducting the study, the ad-hoc committee will generate recommendations based on the committee’s own data gathering as well as input from the U.S. Earth science and applications community.

This project is sponsored by the United States Geological Survey.

Past Meetings

February 1-3, 2012, NRC Keck Center
Washington, DC
June 4, 2012
Irvine, CA
April 25-27, 2012, NRC Keck Center
Washington, DC       
October 23-24, 2012
Santa Barbara, CA

Committee Membership

For detailed information about committee membership please visit our current projects page.

Jeff Dozier (Chair)
University of California, Santa Barbara


Carlos E. Del Castillo
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 

Diane E. Pataki
University of Utah

Jack D. Fellows
EnviroGen International Foundation and G2Groups, Inc.
David S. Schimel
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Kathleen O'Neill Green
Kass Green and Associates
Walter S. Scott
DigitalGlobe, Inc.
John R. Jensen
University of South Carolina
William F. Townsend
Independent Aerospace Consultant
Dennis P. Lettenmaier
University of Washington
Howard A. Zebker
Stanford University

Berrien Moore, III
University of Oklahoma

Mary Lou Zoback
Stanford University












Abigail A. Sheffer, Study Director

Arthur A. Charo, Senior Program Officer

Linda M. Walker, Senior Program Assistant