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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft A Workshop Report Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study is based on work supported by Contract NNH06CE15B between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Contract DG133R07SE1940 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-11276-5 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-11276-1 Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report OTHER REPORTS OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD Opening New Frontiers in Space: Choices for the Next New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity (SSB, 2008) Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System: Interim Report (SSB with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2008) Space Science and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Summary of a Workshop (SSB, 2008) United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Workshop Series on Issues in Space Science and Technology: Summary of Space and Earth Science Issues from the Workshop on U.S. Civil Space Policy (SSB, 2008) Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (2007) An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars (SSB with the Board on Life Sciences [BLS], 2007) Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2007) Decadal Science Strategy Surveys: Report of a Workshop (2007) Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (2007) Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System (SSB with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, 2007) Grading NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Review (2007) The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems (SSB with BLS, 2007) NASA’s Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation (SSB with the Board on Physics and Astronomy [BPA], 2007) A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Astrophysics Program (SSB with BPA, 2007) Portals to the Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers (2007) The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (2007) An Assessment of Balance in NASA’s Science Programs (2006) Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007-2016 (2006) Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Venus Missions: Letter Report (2006) Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments for Solar-Terrestrial Research: Report of a Workshop (2006) Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2006) Review of NASA’s 2006 Draft Science Plan: Letter Report (2006) The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon—Interim Report (2006) Space Radiation Hazards and the Vision for Space Exploration (2006) Limited copies of these reports are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) email@example.com www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html NOTE: These reports are listed according to year of approval for release, which in some cases precedes the year of publication.
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report PANEL ON OPTIONS TO ENSURE THE CLIMATE RECORD FROM THE NPOESS AND GOES-R SPACECRAFT ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University of Maryland, Chair PHILIP E. ARDANUY, Raytheon Information Solutions JUDITH A. CURRY, Georgia Institute of Technology JUDITH L. LEAN, Naval Research Laboratory BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire JAY S. PEARLMAN, The Boeing Company JAMES F.W. PURDOM, Colorado State University CHRISTOPHER S. VELDEN, University of Wisconsin-Madison THOMAS H. VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University FRANK J. WENTZ, Remote Sensing Systems Consultant STACEY W. BOLAND, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Staff ARTHUR A. CHARO, Study Director, Space Studies Board CURTIS H. MARSHALL, Program Officer, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate THERESA M. FISHER, Program Associate, Space Studies Board CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Assistant Editor, Space Studies Board
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report SPACE STUDIES BOARD LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan, Chair A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Vice Chair DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado STEVEN J. BATTEL, Battel Engineering CHARLES L. BENNETT, Johns Hopkins University ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Los Alamos National Laboratory ALAN DRESSLER, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology TAMARA E. JERNIGAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory KLAUS KEIL, University of Hawaii MOLLY MACAULEY, Resources for the Future BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire KENNETH H. NEALSON, University of Southern California JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of California, Irvine RICHARD H. TRULY, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (retired) JOAN VERNIKOS, Thirdage, LLC JOSEPH F. VEVERKA, Cornell University WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research CHARLES E. WOODWARD, University of Minnesota GARY P. ZANK, University of California, Riverside MARCIA S. SMITH, Director
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report Preface NPOESS, which has been driven by the imperative of reliably providing short-term weather information, is itself a union of heretofore separate civilian and military programs…. The same considerations of expediency and economy motivate the present attempts to add to NPOESS the goals of climate research. The technical complexities of combining seemingly disparate requirements are accompanied by the programmatic complexities of forging further connections among three different agencies, with different mandates, cultures, and congressional appropriators. Yet the stakes are very high, and each agency gains significantly by finding ways to cooperate, as do the taxpayers. Beyond cost savings, benefits include the possibility that long-term climate observations will reveal new phenomena of interest to weather forecasters, as happened with the El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Conversely, climate researchers can often make good use of operational data.1 In January 2007, the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Earth science decadal survey committee delivered to agency sponsors a prepublication version of its final report, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond.2 However, prior to the delivery of that report, NASA and NOAA requested that additional items be added to the committee’s statement of task. The new tasks focused on recovery of measurement capabilities, especially those related to climate research, that were lost as a result of changes in plans for the next generation of polar and geostationary environmental monitoring satellites, NPOESS and GOES-R (see Appendix A).3 By mutual agreement, the new tasks were to be addressed by a separate panel in a report that would draw on the results of a major workshop. Specifically, the new tasks were as follows: Analyze the impact of the changes to the NPOESS program that were announced in June 2006 and changes to the GOES-R series as described in the NOAA testimony to Congress on September 29, 2006. These changes included reduction in the number of planned NPOESS satellites, the deletion or descoping of particular instruments, and a delay in the planned launch of the first NPOESS satellite. In addition, recent changes to the GOES-R series resulted in deletion or descoping of instrumentation and a delay in the first spacecraft launch. The committee should give 1 Excerpted from the Foreword to National Research Council (NRC), Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: II. Implementation, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2000. 2 NRC, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2007. 3 Note that acronyms not defined in the text, especially those denoting individual instruments and missions, are defined in Appendix D.
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report particular attention to impacts in areas associated with climate research, other NOAA strategic goals, and related Global Earth Observation System of Systems/Integrated Earth Observation System (GEOSS/IEOS) societal benefit areas. The analysis should include discussions related to continuity of existing measurements and development of new research and operational capabilities. Develop a strategy to mitigate the impact of the changes described in the item above. The committee will prioritize capabilities that were lost or placed at risk following the changes to NPOESS and the GOES-R series and present strategies to recover these capabilities. Included in this assessment will be an analysis of the capabilities of the portfolio of missions recommended in the decadal strategy to recover these capabilities, especially those related to research on Earth’s climate. The changes to the NPOESS and GOES-R programs may also offer new opportunities. The committee should provide a preliminary assessment of the risks, benefits, and costs of placing—on NPOESS, GOES-R, or on other platforms—alternative sensors to those planned for NPOESS. Finally, the committee will consider the advantages and disadvantages of relying on capabilities that may be developed by our European and Japanese partners. This workshop report, prepared by the NRC’s Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft, presents the initial response to this request. It summarizes the presentations and discussions at a June 19-21, 2007, workshop but does not necessarily reflect the consensus views of the panel or the NRC. A second report, which will include recommendations for a strategy to recover recently descoped observational and measurement capabilities, is scheduled for transmittal by January 31, 2008. The workshop, titled “Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft,” was held at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, D.C. Some 100 scientists and engineers from academia, government, and industry attended the workshop, which gave participants a chance to review and comment on the NASA-NOAA assessments of the impacts to climate observations associated with the changes made to the NPOESS program following the June 2006 Nunn-McCurdy certification,4 as well as potential mitigation strategies. Participants also discussed the impact of the September 2006 cancellation of the HES instrument on GOES-R, which was to have contributed to NOAA strategic goals and to GEOSS/IEOS societal benefit areas.5 The workshop was divided into morning plenary sessions and afternoon breakouts. To guide breakout discussions, participants were given templates to be filled out during discussions. The workshop agenda is shown in Appendix B. When considering questions regarding recovery of climate observation capabilities on NPOESS, participants were asked to discuss the impacts and mitigation options associated with the June 2006 Nunn-McCurdy certification and the GOES-R descoping in terms of both the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) essential climate variables (ECVs)6 and related climate data records, and in terms of the sensors themselves. Participants then reviewed the options discussed in a NOAA-NASA report to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP);7 however, participants were also asked to consider a wider universe of mitigation options, including free flyers, formation flying, and constellations; flights of opportunity; and international partner opportunities beyond the European MetOp program. At the request of OSTP, NASA and NOAA are also performing such an analysis as part of the second phase of their study, the final results of which were not available at the time of the workshop. Their preliminary assessment is summarized in Appendix C, which reproduces the text and figures of a presentation given at the workshop. 4 See U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, Hearing Charter, “The Future of NPOESS: Results of the Nunn-McCurdy Review of NOAA’s Weather Satellite Program,” June 8, 2006, available at http://gop.science.house.gov/hearings/full06/June%208/charter.pdf. 5 Presentations made at the April 23-24, 2007, workshop organizing meeting and presentations made at plenary sessions and notes taken on the breakout sessions at the June 19-21, 2007, workshop are available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/SSB_NPOESS2007_Presentations.html. 6 The GCOS was established in 1992 to ensure that the observations and information needed to address climate-related issues are obtained and made available to all potential users. It is co-sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the International Council for Science. For information on the GCOS ECVs, see http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/gcos/index.php?name=essentialvariables. 7 NOAA-NASA, “Impacts of NPOESS Nunn-McCurdy Certification on Joint NASA-NOAA Climate Goals,” draft white paper, January 8, 2007.
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report Workshop participants were asked to consider how the following programs will or could play into a mitigation strategy in the period before and after NPOESS launches: NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP),8 Extended-phase operations of instruments on the Earth Observing System spacecraft,9 and Implementation of the recommendations made in the decadal survey, Earth Science and Applications from Space.10 Of the three items above, consideration of the potential impact of the decadal survey dominated participant discussions. In part, this emphasis resulted from recognition that with limited funds, recovery strategies, especially for NPOESS, would effectively compete with the new starts recommended in the decadal survey. In addition, the measurement capabilities of sensors on some of the missions recommended in the decadal survey overlap with those recently lost in the descoped NPOESS and GOES-R programs.11 The organization of this report follows loosely that of the workshop agenda (Appendix B), which was designed to have participants consider the impact of changes to the NPOESS and GOES-R program according to the impact on the measurement of ECVs (breakout sessions on day 1 of the workshop) and on the specific sensors that constituted the pre-Nunn-McCurdy NPOESS and the pre-descoped GOES-R program baselines (breakout sessions on day 2 of the workshop). The panel recognized that there would be overlap in these discussions but thought it useful for participants to consider the broader issues of ECV measurement and development of climate data records apart from specific concerns about NPOESS sensors. Indeed, many workshop participants noted repeatedly that ensuring the measurement(s) of a particular climate variable(s) was only a necessary first step toward enabling the creation of time series of measurements of sufficient length, consistency, and continuity to determine climate variability and change—that is, to generate climate data records.12 In closing, the panel notes with deep regret the sudden death of Anthony Hollingsworth, from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, on July 29, 2007. Tony was a world-class meteorologist and, as noted in the many tributes that followed his passing, a key figure in fostering international collaborations among EUMETSAT, the European Space Agency, and space agencies worldwide. At the time of his death, Tony was heading Europe’s GEMS environmental monitoring project; he also was advising the panel on the international dimensions of mitigation options for NPOESS. 8 The National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) is a joint mission involving NASA and the NPOESS Integrated Program Office. See http://jointmission.gsfc.nasa.gov/. 9 See http://eospso.gsfc.nasa.gov/eos_homepage/description.php. 10 NRC, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2007. 11 For descriptions of the decadal survey missions, see Chapter 4 of NRC, Earth Science and Applications from Space, 2007. For discussions of decadal survey missions and NPOESS, see Chapter 2 and Tables 2.4 and 2.5 in that report. 12 NRC, Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites: Interim Report, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004.
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Eric J. Barron, University of Texas, Craig Donlon, Hadley Centre, Met Office, United Kingdom, Dennis P. Lettenmaier, University of Washington, Ralph F. Milliff, Colorado Research Associates, and R. Keith Raney, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Byron D. Tapley, University of Texas at Austin. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report Contents SUMMARY 1 1 IMPLICATIONS OF THE NPOESS NUNN-McCURDY CERTIFICATION AND THE DESCOPING OF GOES-R 4 HES Cancellation and GOES-R, 5 The NASA-NOAA Study, 8 2 SUMMARY OF THE WORKSHOP SESSIONS 9 Workshop Summary—Day 1, 9 Consideration of NPOESS and GOES-R, Priority Measurements for ECVs—Breakout Sessions, 10 Climate Data Records Related to Observations of the Atmosphere, 10 Climate Data Records Related to Observations of the Oceans, 13 Climate Data Records Related to Observations of the Land, 16 Workshop Summary—Day 2, 18 Breakout Sessions, 18 Radiation Sensor Measurements, 18 Visible and Infrared Imager and Sounder Measurements, 23 Microwave Sensor Measurements, 27 Geostationary Hyperspectral Measurements, 34 Workshop Summary—Day 3, 37 Plenary Session on International Considerations, 37 Breakout Sessions, 38 Panel to Assess NASA-NOAA Mitigation Options, 39 Panel on Issues Related to CDR Development, 39 3 CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES 43 Synergy Versus Competition with Decadal Survey, 43 Continuity of Long-term Records Versus New Measurements, 43 Measurement Teams, 44
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Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report Calibration and Characterization (Pre-, In-, Post-flight), 44 Formation Flying, 44 Stability Requirements Particular to Climate Studies, 44 Integration on NPOESS Versus Free Flyers: Large Versus Small Programs, 44 Structural Issues Associated with Procurement of Sensors That Support Climate Science, 45 Lack of an Enterprise View, 45 Proprietary Nature of Industry Contracts, 46 Minimal Insight into Algorithm Development, 46 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 47 B Workshop Agenda 48 C Mitigation Approaches Presented by NASA and NOAA at the Workshop 53 D Abbreviations and Acronyms 65 E Biographical Sketches of Panel Members 70