Douglas Isbell Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1753) Lanee Cobb Stennis Space Center, Stennis, MS (Phone

: 228/688-3341) RELEASE: 97-268

November 17, 1997

FIRST PHASE OF EARTH SCIENCE DATA PURCHASE AWARDS SELECTED Eleven offers have been selected for contract negotiations in the first phase of NASA's planned purchase of Earth science data and related information products that meet both commercial needs and the agency's scientific requirements. "This is truly a new way of doing business for NASA," said William Townsend, Acting Associate Administrator for the NASA Office of Mission to Planet Earth, Washington, DC. "But it's just one step in a longer, multifaceted process of NASA working more aggressively with industry and other non-governmental organizations to advance scientific understanding of our Earth as a total environmental system." The U.S. Congress approved the plan to initiate the data purchase activity in the fiscal 1997 NASA budget. It will be managed by the NASA Commercial Remote Sensing Program at Stennis Space Center, Stennis, MS, the Agency's lead center for fostering commercial applications of NASA Earth science data and related technology. A Request For Offers was made by NASA in May 1997 to provide unique Earth science data and related information products for purchase. The purchased information will be used by research teams within NASA's Earth science enterprise, which manages the agency's portion of an internationally coordinated research effort to study the Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as a global environmental system. By purchasing data upon delivery from private industry instead of developing, building and launching new satellites, NASA may be able to conduct and expand its scientific investigations at a much lower cost, while encouraging the growth of this economic

sector, Townsend said. The first phase of this effort will cover a maximum six-month period to be spent analyzing and validating sample data sets. Those proposals selected to continue to Phase II will receive a letter describing the price, quantity of data and its required characteristics, based on terms and conditions commonly found in the commercial marketplace. Awards were based on several criteria, including "best science value" to the government, and the degree to which the offered data met the business and performance characteristics of the solicitation, including scientific utility, data rights and the proposed price. The successful offerors are: Earth Satellite Corporation, Rockville, MD, will provide a mediumresolution common global geographic reference database using Landsat Multispectral and Thematic Mapper images. Jackson and Tull/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Seabrook, MD, will provide high-volume, on-site ocean data using demonstration ocean buoys with interactive telemetry links. User Systems/Space Imaging-EOSAT, Gambrills, MD, will process and provide distribution capability for 18 terabytes of Shuttle Imaging Radar data in support of land surface classification research. Earthwatch, Longmont, CO, will provide high-resolution imagery from the Earlybird commercial remote-sensing satellite, over the Upper San Padre Basin, CA, and Stennis Space Center. Phase II imagery acquisitions will be determined by the Earth science community. The University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, will provide a complete dataset of upper tropospheric water vapor and cloudiness data using the Visible/Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer Atmospheric Sounder aboard U.S. GOES weather satellites. Space Imaging-EOSAT, Thornton, CO, will provide three-foot (onemeter) resolution panchromatic and 13-foot (four-meter) resolution multispectral imagery. In Phase I it will be simulated; Phase II

data will be from the IKONOS satellite constellation that will be launched by the company later this year. Final Analysis, Lanham, MD, will provide measurements of atmospheric aerosols and trace gases from the deployment of a planned 12-satellite constellation. Positive Systems, Whitefish, MT, will provide three-foot (onemeter) resolution multispectral imagery over the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM. TRW Civil & International Systems Division, Redondo Beach, CA, will provide airborne hyperspectral imagery (384 channels) based over the highly characterized region around Jasper Ridge, CA. Astrovision, Inc., Stennis Space Center, MS, will provide 24-hour imagery from geostationary orbit to provide real-time documentation of public and environmental hazards such as tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, fires, volcanoes, meteors and floods. Resource 21, Englewood, CO, will provide data for extracting land resources management information from multispectral imagery that could provide continuity with Landsat-7 data. Further information about these products and awards is available on the Internet at URL: -end-