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Assessment of Satellite Earth Observation Programs 1991 (Chapter 1) Assessment of Satellite Earth Observation Programs 1991 1 Introduction The Committee on Earth Studies (CES—called the Committee on Earth Sciences prior to 1989) provides continuing guidance to the Space Studies Board (SSB) in the areas of earth sciences and related remote sensing applications. The scope of its scientific advice incorporates all earth science disciplines that can be addressed from space, including studies of the atmosphere, ocean, geology and geophysics, global biology and ecology, and their interactions. The committee also identifies policy issues and provides advice concerning priorities in civil and unclassified remote sensing of the Earth, with special attention given to institutional roles and relationships among the various academic, government, and private sector entities involved. As a standing committee of the SSB, the CES assists in carrying out studies, monitoring the implementation of strategies, and providing recommendations to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other government agencies. REPORT MENU NOTICE MEMBERSHIP In the past, the advice of the CES was directed primarily to the earth FOREWORD sciences portion of the Earth Science and Applications Division (ESAD) and to SUMMARY the Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) of NASA. Although these CHAPTER 1 entities within NASA continue to be the principal focus of CES advice, the CHAPTER 2 committee's purview has been broadened as a result of the SSB reorganization CHAPTER 3 in 1988-1989. REFERENCES ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS Specifically, the mandate to CES now includes global biology and APPENDIX ecology, previously addressed by the SSB Committee on Planetary Biology (CPB), and issues related to remote sensing applications, formerly a function of the Space Applications Board (SAB) of the National Research Council (NRC). Thus, the CES now advises on program and issues important to a wider audience both within NASA—including the applications portion of ESAD, the Life Sciences Division of OSSA, and the Office of Commercial Programs—and within other federal agencies that have significant interests in Earth observation programs, notably the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), as well as the interagency Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES). The CES also maintains contacts with other interested parties file:///C|/SSB_old_web/seo91ch1.htm (1 of 3) [6/18/2004 1:37:38 PM]
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Assessment of Satellite Earth Observation Programs 1991 (Chapter 1) in the executive and legislative branches, in private industry, and in the university research community. The principal NRC documents reviewed by the committee for this assessment include the following: A Strategy for Earth Science from Space in the 1980's—Part I: Solid earth and Oceans (SSB, 1982a); Data Management and Computation, Volume I: Issues and Recommendations (SSB, 1982b); Snow and Ice Research: An Assessment (PRB, 1983); A Strategy for Earth Science from Space in the 1980's and 1990's—Part II: Atmosphere and Interactions with the Solid Earth, Oceans, and Biota (SSB, 1985); Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space: A Program in Crisis (SAB, 1985); Remote Sensing of the Biosphere (SSB, 1986); and Strategy for Earth Explorers in Global Earth Sciences (SSB, 1988). The primary purpose of this report is to identify the major scientific objectices and the principal recommendations in the documents listed above, to assess NASA's progress in relation to them, and to recommend how the perceived deficiencies might be rectified. The assessment also covers the Earth observation activities of NOAA and the private sector in the context of remote sensing applications policies and programs. Chapter 2 focuses on NASA's response to the CES science strategy (SSB 1982a, 1985) and to the principal recommendations in the Committee on Glaciology report (PRB, 1983) and the 1986 CPB report (SSB, 1986). Chapter 3 reviews the status of applications programs in relation to the 1985 SAB report and examines the most important programmatic issues in relation to all the reports mentioned above. Chapter 3 is followed by references and a list of abbreviations and acronyms. Finally, the appendix contains the guidelines for this assessment. file:///C|/SSB_old_web/seo91ch1.htm (2 of 3) [6/18/2004 1:37:38 PM]