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A Bimonthly EOS Publication
EARTH OBSERVER September/October 1999 Vol. 11 No. 5

In this issue EDITOR’S CORNER
Michael King
EOS Senior Project Scientist

EOS PM Science Working Group On October 14 and 15, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved
Meeting Minutes ....................... 3 the Appropriations Conference Committee bill that provides funding to the
Veterans Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development,
May 1999 User Working Group
and Independent Agencies (including NASA) for FY00. This bill, approved by
Meeting—ORNL DAAC for
President Clinton on October 20, provides funding for NASA of $13.653 B, of
Biogeochemical Dynamics ..... 8
which the Earth Science Enterprise is $1.455 B. Of this budget, $663.2 M is for
Requirements For Landslide the Earth Observing System (EOS), $231.5 M for EOSDIS, and $420.2 M for
Signature Observation By applied research and data analysis, including the research & analysis program,
Satellite ................................... 11 EOS calibration and validation program, and EOS Interdisciplinary Science
(IDS) investigations. The conference report includes $36.3 M of the Earth
USRA/GSFC Graduate Student
Science budget for earmarks, including support of research centers at eight
Summer 2000 Program In Earth
universities for natural resource training and remote-sensing applications;
System Science ...................... 13
support of biodiversity programs at two museums; a space-based research
Annual Depletion Of Antarctic Ozone initiative for the study and detection of forest fires; funding for continued
Results Are In: ‘Ozone Hole’ development of battery technology; and support for additional uses of the
Smaller Than Last Year .......... 14 EOSDIS Core System to make data more readily available for potential user
NASA Unveils New, Most Accurate
Map Of Antarctic Continent .. 15
The bill preserves the Triana program, but directs NASA to suspend all work
on the development of the satellite until the National Academy of Sciences
Earth Science Education Update:
(NAS) has completed an evaluation of the scientific goals of the Triana mission.
Opportunity To Participate In Digital
Library For Earth Science In the event of a favorable report from the NAS, Triana may not launch prior to
Education ................................ 16 January 1, 2001. The bill also directs NASA to develop a five-year plan detail-
ing a robust program for utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the
EOS Scientists in the News ........... 17 Earth Science Program. The bill also calls for NASA to submit a report by
March 15, 2000 articulating the EOS-II strategy for Earth science, through fiscal
Student, School Receive Award for
year 2010.
Naming EOS Satellite ............ 18

The launch of Terra is currently scheduled for no earlier than December 16
Calendars ........................................ 19
from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The spacecraft has been fully
Information/Inquiries ...... Back cover fueled, and several mission readiness reviews are planned for the next few
weeks. There is a 2-day launch window of December 16 and 17. No launch
attempts will be made in 1999 after December 20 due to safety concerns

associated with the transition to Year 2000. found on the EOS Project Science Office contest conducted by the American
Barring any unforeseen obstacles, Terra web site at Geophysical Union for renaming EOS AM
should be returning unprecedented eos_homepage/logreg.html. (see The Earth Observer, vol. 11, no. 1).
science data within the next few months.
I’m sure you share my excitement for this NASA selected ‘Aqua’ as the name for the Finally, all Algorithm Theoretical Basis
milestone event in the EOS program. EOS PM spacecraft after a selection Documents (ATBDs) for the EOS Chemis-
process was undertaken to determine a try and SOLSTICE missions have been
The next EOS Investigators Working new, more descriptive name for this revised in response to the review panel
Group meeting will take place April 13-15 flagship Earth Observing System mission. report following the May ATBD review.
in Tucson, Arizona at the Hilton East Nominations were solicited from the EOS This round of ATBD reviews covered
Hotel. The main themes of the meeting PM community; and the four science HIRDLS, MLS, TES, and SOLSTICE. All
will be early mission status results from teams on the PM platform, the PM Project instruments received favorable reviews,
Terra, and topical sessions on ocean, land, Office, and the EOS Project Science Office and the resultant revisions to the algo-
and atmospheric science findings from (including both Goddard and NASA rithms will insure that scientifically valid
recent missions such as Landsat 7, Headquarters) voted on their preferences and high-quality data products are
QuikScat, and ACRIMSAT. EOS validation among 17 nominations. Aqua, Latin for produced from these missions. I’m
activities, new IDS team introductions, ‘water,’ was selected as the number one confident that the next round of ATBD
and European and Japanese Earth choice both because it signifies the reviews in February of next year will be
observation mission status overviews will information PM will obtain about the equally successful. These reviews will
also be presented. A draft agenda is being water cycle (on the land, in the atmo- include ACRIM III, AIRS/AMSU/HSB,
formulated at this time and will be sphere, and in the ocean), and because it AMSR-E, SAGE III, TIM, and Data
distributed in the next few weeks. forms a nice complement to the choice of Assimilation.
Logistics and travel information can be ‘Terra’ made earlier this year through a

Images from the IKONOS Satellite

These one-meter resolution black-and-white images were collected October 11, 1999. The image on the left is of San Francisco and features Aquatic Park and
Fisherman’s Wharf. The image on the right is of New York City and features lower Manhattan including the World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge
(Images courtesy of Space Imaging).

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

Lobl also presented results from the
Southern Great Plains (SGP) 1999 field
EOS PM Science Working Group campaign in Oklahoma. The results verify

Meeting Minutes the sensitivity of C-band radiometry to
soil moisture in the top 2.5 cm of the
— Claire L. Parkinson (, ground in areas with low vegetation cover.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

— David D. Herring (, The AMSR-E Team proposal to do much of
Science Systems and Applications, Inc. their data processing at Marshall Space
Flight Center (MSFC), the home base of
the AMSR-E Team Leader, through a
Science Investigator-led Processing
The EOS PM Science Working Group met “Aqua.” System (SIPS) has been approved, much to
on October 15, 1999 at Goddard Space Three days the relief of the AMSR-E Team. The team
Flight Center to discuss a range of topics, after the meeting, members feel that having control of the
with emphasis on validation in the NASA Associate processing at MSFC should greatly
morning and spacecraft maneuvers in the Administrator Ghassem Asrar confirmed simplify the data processing effort. The
afternoon. Aqua as the new name for EOS PM. Beta versions of the AMSR-E algorithms
were delivered to the Team Leader Science
The meeting was chaired by EOS PM The opening remarks from the chairper- Computing Facility (TLSCF) last year, and
Project Scientist Claire Parkinson, who son were followed by presentations from the engineering version 1 (V1) is due to
opened with a brief update on the each of the four science teams, in each case the TLSCF by November 1, 1999. The
mission, including confirmation that the providing a team update and an indica- engineering version of the algorithm
scheduled launch date is December 21, tion of planned validation activities for software is due to the SIPS by March 1,
2000. She gave short status statements on EOS PM. 2000, and the launch version is due by
each of the six EOS PM instruments, with August 1, 2000.
their expected delivery dates to the AMSR-E Science Team
spacecraft company, TRW. Two of the The Japanese are responsible for AMSR-E
instruments, the Advanced Microwave The Advanced Microwave Scanning instrument calibration, but the calibration
Sounding Unit (AMSU) and Clouds and Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) Team presen- team includes members from the U.S.
the Earth’s Radiant Energy System tation was made by Elena Lobl, the AMSR-E Team. Regarding validation, the
(CERES), are already delivered, while the AMSR-E Team Coordinator. Amongst the Japanese and U.S. teams each have
other four are scheduled for delivery in improvements mentioned as recently validation plans and are working together
the time frame of October-December, 1999. having been made in the AMSR-E to merge these into a coordinated plan.
algorithms is the addition of convective/ Validation analyses will include satellite
Parkinson also presented the results of the stratiform differentiation in the precipita- intercomparisons with TMI and Defense
voting for a new name for EOS PM. Voting tion algorithm, illustrated with results Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
was done by e-mail, with a ballot contain- from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI)
ing 17 candidate names compiled over the Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager data as well as field data and aircraft
previous several months. The voting was (TMI). Lobl showed a sample TMI North campaigns. Lobl showed a post-launch
done individually within each of the Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) validation timeline, plus a chart of the
following six groups: the AIRS/AMSU/ anomaly image from the period of the AMSR-E standard products. She men-
HSB Science Team, the AMSR-E Science September 1999 passages of hurricanes tioned the interest within the AMSR-E
Team, the CERES Science Team, the Floyd and Gert. She pointed out the ability Team to have joint calibration/validation
MODIS Science Team, the PM Project, and of TMI’s through-cloud retrievals to show activities with other PM science teams and
the EOS Project Science Office. With equal detailed patterns in storm-induced suggested an intercomparison workshop
weight given to the results from each of negative SST anomalies. six months after launch. When questioned
the six groups, the top vote-getter was about an aircraft experiment scheduled for


early 2001, Lobl and AMSR-E-colleague member Joel Susskind explained that, Team Leader Vince Salomonson and the
Chris Kummerow responded that the because of the large number of channels MODIS Project Scientist Bob Murphy.
experiment will still be valuable even in on AIRS, the final-product AIRS algo- Salomonson began with a brief review of
the event of a launch delay preventing rithms will be able to avoid the channels the 36-band MODIS instrument and the
receipt of AMSR-E data during the aircraft exhibiting the greatest noise. With respect key geophysical parameters being
campaign. to spectral purity, there are no detectable obtained from each of the band groupings.
leaks down to the 0.003 µm level. Below The PM MODIS instrument has consider-
AIRS/AMSU/HSB Science Team that there are some artifacts in the data, able strengths, including the elimination
but the integrated out-of-band response is of some of the problems identified in the
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) significantly less than the noise. Aumann Terra MODIS. Some problems do cur-
Team presentation was made by the AIRS showed calibration plots and explained rently exist on the PM MODIS, however,
Project Scientist George Aumann. Aumann that a linearity correction will be applied including focal plane misregistration and
reported that the AMSU-A on NOAA-15 to improve further the instrument a series of worrisome and unexplained
(equivalent to the PM AMSU) is working calibration. This was followed by a plot of pixel outages in the 1.2- and 1.6-µm bands.
well and that the Humidity Sounder for vertical profiles through the atmosphere of
Brazil (HSB) is equivalent to the AMSU-B simulated retrieval accuracies for the The calibration strategy for MODIS
scheduled to fly on NOAA-L. The AIRS AIRS/AMSU/HSB suite of instruments. includes a suite of onboard calibrators (a
instrument itself has completed vibration blackbody, a solar diffuser and solar
testing and is currently in thermal vacuum While processed data for assimilation into diffuser stability monitor, and a
testing. forecast models should be available within spectroradiometric calibration assembly),
3 hours after receipt of telemetry data, spacecraft maneuvers to view the moon
There was some discussion at the meeting Aumann indicated that Level 2 products and deep space, and co-registration of
regarding the goal of global 1-K root- can lag about 24 hours behind the data bands.
mean-square temperature retrieval downlink. Level 2 performance validation
accuracy from the AIRS/AMSU/HSB for the AIRS will be based on ground truth Salomonson indicated that all MODIS
system in 1-km layers in the troposphere. radiosondes and ocean buoys. The Level 1 products will be processed by the
No one disagreed with the statement that ground-based validation will involve a Goddard Distributed Active Archive
this is a key goal, but several in the room large-scale international effort including Center (DAAC). Level 2-4 data, for both
were not aware that the 1-K/1-km field locations in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, the Terra MODIS and the PM MODIS, will
accuracy level is not a Level-1 require- France, Korea, and China. In closing, be processed by the MODIS Adaptive
ment. The AIRS instrument would require Aumann encouraged the PM Science Processing System (MODAPS) and then
the addition of wedged filters to reach the Teams to work together to create com- ingested into the Goddard DAAC for data
1-K/1-km accuracy level. bined data products, advocating specifi- distribution. In operational readiness tests
cally, as an example, the creation of a for Terra, the Goddard DAAC has
Aumann then presented a list of the consensus EOS PM SST product, in successfully ingested 100% of the Level 0
expected AIRS data products and dis- addition to the three or four separate SST and ancillary test data. Although the data
cussed the status of the AIRS Level 1b products that will be obtained based on processing functionality was demon-
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document the individual instruments. Bruce strated, sustained operations were not.
(ATBD). The Level 1b algorithms are not Barkstrom seconded the need to coordi- Salomonson is confident that there will be
being revised at this point, but the ATBD nate, specifically in the determination of enough data available to validate the
is being augmented to include new test cloud-free pixels, but mentioned also that instrument and to produce the Terra at-
results that, among other things, enable a the effort required could be considerable. launch data products. Salomonson expects
narrowing of the large error bars appear- it to take until about a year after launch
ing in the original ATBD. Aumann showed MODIS Science Team before the MODIS Team will be able to
a signal-to-noise scatter plot containing all produce full global products operationally.
2378 AIRS channels. Some channels are The Moderate Resolution Imaging
markedly better than others regarding Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Team The MODIS Team recently conducted its
signal-to-noise ratio, and AIRS Team presentation was made by the MODIS Mission Operations Science System

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

(MOSS) version 3 dry run. This was a CERES Science Team (EOSDIS) Data Gateway. Barkstrom said
week-long test in which a 48-hour test radiation budget data involve a multi-
data set was processed and distributed The CERES Team presentation was made dimensional space including wavelength,
through the MOSS system. Two major by the CERES Instrument Working Group space (latitude, longitude, and height),
problems were identified, bringing down Leader Bob Lee and the CERES Team angle, and time. Errors in the data are a
the system temporarily, but once the Leader Bruce Barkstrom. Lee reported that strong function of the time and space
problems were solved, the processing the CERES instrument calibration is tied scales of the data products. Thus, each
continued. directly to the National Institute of CERES product faces unique validation
Standards and Technology (NIST) challenges. From the standpoint of the
Regarding validation, Murphy explained radiance standards. He said the CERES CERES investigation, validation is used to
that the PM validation efforts are an Team has done a very good job of calibrat- remove obvious errors and bound the
extension of the Terra plans and will ing and characterizing their blackbodies. uncertainties of the fields in the data
include field experiments, coordinated Instrument data-processing parameters products. The basic focus of CERES
ground-based networks, and cross- are available at http://lposun.larc.nasa. validation remains examination of global
comparison with other sensors, such as gov/~jack/task37data.html. This site consistencies and anomaly patterns.
the AIRS on PM. The MODIS/AIRS contains details about the CERES sensor However, the CERES Team also plans to
comparisons will involve radiances, SSTs, gains, spectral responses, zero-radiance use surface-based measurements, aircraft,
land surface temperatures, and land offsets, and ground-to-flight sensor gain and balloon in situ data to validate CERES
surface emissivities. MODIS Level 1 stabilities. data. Most of the in situ data the CERES
products will be validated in two phases: Team will use come from efforts, such as
first, through the use of its on-board Lee presented a physical layout of the the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement
calibrators and second through feedback CERES instrument. He said the plan is to Program (ARM), that produce data for
from the science data. Extensive vicarious calibrate CERES by looking at deep space other investigations as well. Barkstrom
calibration efforts will include surface- (through spacecraft maneuvers) as well as provided a list of current sites that CERES
based measurements at key test sites at the looking at the onboard blackbodies, solar plans to use for validation. For each site,
White Sands Missile Range in New diffuser, and tungsten lamp. The black- CERES will produce time series of
Mexico, the Railroad Valley Playa in bodies are used for calibrating CERES’ footprints with broadband radiances and
Nevada, and a thermal infrared test site total and window channels, while the fluxes, as well as cloud properties. He
yet to be determined (several are being shortwave channel uses the tungsten offered to expand the list if other teams
investigated). lamp. Lee explained that for the TRMM are interested.
CERES, the team noted a 0.1-0.2 %
The three MODIS discipline groups— increase in gain on orbit versus what was The CERES validation schedule will focus
Atmosphere, Land, and Oceans—have measured on the ground. He suspects that on Level 1 radiance and calibration/
their own validation strategies, and twelve days of thermal vacuum were navigation in the first six months after
Murphy elaborated on each. Validation insufficient for full vacuum adaptation. launch (L + 6 months), the Level 2 Earth
sites are spread throughout the globe, and The CERES sensors aboard TRMM were Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE)-like
several field campaigns for the Terra stable to within 0.2 % (0.2 Watts per square product starting at L + 9 months, the Level
MODIS are well along in the planning meter per steradian) over the first 18 2 cloud properties starting at L + 18
stages. Because the current focus is on the months the satellite was in orbit. months, the Level 2 surface and atmo-
upcoming Terra mission, detailed field spheric fluxes starting at L + 36 months,
campaign planning for the PM mission Regarding validation, Barkstrom pointed and the Level 3 gridded data and time
remains in the future. Both Elena Lobl of out that his team has 10 months of TRMM averages starting at L + 42 months.
the AMSR-E Team and George Aumann of CERES data to work with, making the use Barkstrom also noted that CERES plans to
the AIRS/AMSU/HSB Team expressed of simulated data unnecessary. He plans to produce new Angular Distribution Models
interest in the MODIS suggestion of an store and distribute these data through the from the CERES instruments that operate
initialization cruise at about six months Langley TRMM Information System in Rotating Azimuth Plane scan mode
after launch. (LaTIS), which is accessible through the (which samples all directions) for the final
EOS Data and Information System CERES data products.


Formation of a Validation Working approval by the EOS PM Science Working either three constant-pitch-rate
Group Group. This draft statement was unani- maneuvers or two inertial-hold
mously adopted, prior to the group’s maneuvers, preferably soon after day
Following the four science team presenta- moving on to the main topic of the 30 of the mission. The constant pitch-
tions, Parkinson recommended, and the afternoon session, i.e., spacecraft maneu- rate and inertial-hold maneuvers are
group approved, the formation of an EOS vers. both classified as pitch maneuvers
PM Validation Working Group (named and involve a flipping over of the
later in the day by Mike Gunson). This Spacecraft Maneuvers spacecraft. The CERES Team would
group will consist of Elena Lobl and Frank also like a yaw maneuver, which
Wentz from the AMSR-E Team, George All instruments on the PM spacecraft are involves a lesser turning of the
Aumann and Mike Gunson from the AIRS intended to make observations of the spacecraft, of no more than 11 degrees
Team, Tom Charlock and Pat Minnis from Earth system. However, the spacecraft has and lasting no more than 15 minutes.
the CERES Team, and Wayne Esaias, the capability of performing various Lee explained that the team only
Michael King, Jeff Morisette, and Kurt maneuvers to provide non-Earth views needs a single yaw maneuver and
Thome from the MODIS Team. The group that could be of value in the calibration of that it should be done early in the
is tasked with increasing communication the instruments and the analysis of the mission.
about validation plans amongst the EOS data. The issue of which maneuvers to
PM science teams and facilitating the have the PM spacecraft perform has been (c) The MODIS Team also requires a
development of joint validation efforts contentious for some time, as the four deep-space maneuver, although it
and the exchange of data. The formation science teams have conflicting needs, cannot take advantage of it until
of the Validation Working Group con- preferences, and concerns, but it was somewhat later in the mission than
cluded the morning session. Subsequent important at this meeting to formulate a the CERES Team would prefer. Bob
to the October 15 meeting, Peter maneuver timeline for the first 90 days Murphy explained that scheduling
Hildebrand of Goddard Space Flight after launch. Briefly, the basic positions of the maneuver at day 65 (or as soon
Center (GSFC) agreed to chair the group. the four teams are: thereafter as the moon would be out
Hildebrand is the new Branch Head of of the way) would be the appropriate
GSFC’s Microwave Sensors Branch and (a) The AIRS Team would prefer no timing for MODIS at this point, based
has considerable experience in validation, maneuvers, because maneuvers are on their current scheduling of MODIS
obtained during many years at the not needed for AIRS, they ensure the events early in the PM mission. He
National Center for Atmospheric Research absence of Earth-system data during indicated, however, that it might be
in Boulder, Colorado. He is new to the and surrounding the period of the possible to accelerate this schedule,
EOS program and will bring a fresh maneuver, and they add a risk factor. and that the MODIS Team members
perspective to the validation efforts. The AIRS Team Leader, Mous will have a much better handle on
Chahine, and Project Scientist, George this after they obtain MODIS data
Statement for ESDIS Aumann, confirmed that they do not from the Terra mission. Murphy and
want the AIRS instrument turned on Gerry Godden also explained the
The afternoon session began with a brief until after completion of the initial desire for a series of yaw maneuvers
discussion of a one-paragraph statement maneuvers. Hence, if maneuvers have over the course of four days early in
drafted by the PM Project Scientist in to be done, they should be done at the the mission, and for small roll
response to a request from the Earth earliest possible date, so as not to maneuvers to view the moon on the
Science Data and Information System delay the opening of the AIRS order of five times per year through-
(ESDIS) for an “EOS PM Long-Term instrument any longer than necessary. out the mission. The yaw maneuvers
Science Plan for Nominal Observational
appropriate for MODIS involve 13
Modes.” The core of the statement is that (b) The CERES Team requires a maneu- orbits on each of two days with the
there should be no intentional significant ver to obtain an essential view of MODIS doors closed and the same
interruptions of the basic observational deep space for their calibration sequence on two days with the
mode (providing systematic, global efforts. Bruce Barkstrom and Bob Lee MODIS doors opened. The desired
coverage) without prior review and explained that the CERES Team needs yaw maneuvers last approximately 5

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

minutes during each orbit, with any time during the duration of the All maneuvers should be done during the
incremental turn changes of 2 degrees mission. primary shift of the mission operations
from orbit to orbit. Each small roll team.
maneuver will last no more than 10 The discussion was aggressive, but there
minutes and will roll the spacecraft was a shared recognition of the need for a Closing and Sub-Groups
no more than 20 degrees. reasonable compromise, and the result
was a consensus agreement to the Following the agreement on spacecraft
(d) The AMSR-E Team does not require following: maneuvers to be executed during the first
maneuvers, but feels that the team 90 days of the mission, marking a major
(1) The deep-space maneuver will be a accomplishment for this Science Working
could benefit from a view of deep
constant-pitch-rate maneuver done on
space. Hence the AMSR-E Team is in Group, Parkinson adjourned the general
three consecutive orbits, preferably on
favor of a deep-space maneuver, but meeting and had two smaller groups
day 55 or as soon thereafter as the remain an additional 50 minutes. Specifi-
would prefer to minimize the number
moon is out of the way. It is possible cally, Bob Lee and Gerry Godden met with
and extent of additional maneuvers.
that the day-55 timing might have to
Elena Lobl and Chris Kummerow each other and with the mission opera-
be shifted toward, or to, day 65, if the
presented the AMSR-E Team position, tions team regarding the yaw maneuvers;
MODIS Team finds that it cannot and Elena Lobl, Mike Gunson, Bob
which is driven in part by the
make use of a pitch maneuver done as Murphy, Claire Parkinson, and George
scientific value obtained by the
early as day 55. If, on the other hand,
spacecraft maneuvers performed Aumann met in the initial meeting of the
the MODIS Team determines that it
during the TRMM mission, which newly formed EOS PM Validation
can accelerate the MODIS schedule to Working Group. In the latter meeting
also contains a microwave radiometer
allow the maneuver even earlier than there was an enthusiastic exchange of
(the TRMM Microwave Imager
day 55, this would have advantages
[TMI]). It is important that both the ideas on how this group can best encour-
for the other teams. Bob Murphy has
large reflector and the cold-sky mirror age and support joint validation and data-
an action item to report back on
on AMSR-E obtain a view of cold sky exchange efforts amongst the EOS PM
further MODIS Team analyses of this Science Teams.
during the desired deep-space
(2) A series of yaw maneuvers with the
As the discussion proceeded, George
MODIS doors closed will be done on
Morrow and Pete Pecori, the PM Project days 26-27, and a second series of
Manager and Deputy Project Manager,
yaw maneuvers with the MODIS
respectively, explained several constrain-
doors open will be done on days 30-
ing factors. The first and most important
31. Bob Lee of the CERES Team and
regarded the deep-space maneuver and Gerry Godden of the MODIS Team
the fact that TRW has only analyzed and
were given the action item to deter-
agreed to the constant-pitch-rate maneu-
mine the specifics of the second series
ver, not the inertial-hold maneuver. This
of yaw maneuvers, to accommodate
quickly ended the discussion of the both the CERES and MODIS needs.
inertial-hold possibility. Second, Morrow
Subsequent to the meeting, Lee and
and Pecori explained the importance of
Godden determined that the CERES
having all essential initial testing of the
needs can be met through the MODIS
spacecraft and instruments completed by yaw maneuvers.
day 90 because of the contractual agree-
ment with TRW. This necessitates both (3) A small roll maneuver, to enable a
having the AIRS instrument turned on view of the moon from the MODIS
preferably at least 30-40 days prior to day Space View Port, will be done on day
90 and doing, at least once prior to day 90, 40, or as soon thereafter as the moon
each type of maneuver likely to be done at is appropriately positioned.


May 1999 User Working Group ORNL DAAC for Biogeochemical Dynamics: An
Overview (http://www-eosdis.

Meeting—ORNL DAAC for The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) DAAC

Biogeochemical Dynamics has the responsibility for archiving and distributing
biogeochemical dynamics data from NASA’s field
campaigns as well as global-scale data sets for
— Robert Cook and Larry Voorhees (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and Curtis global-change research. ORNL is a Department of
Woodcock (Boston University) Energy facility in eastern Tennessee, with a history of
managing environmental data. Ground-based
measurements are needed to calibrate and verify
remote-sensing data and to parameterize and
validate models of local-, regional-, and global-scale
processes for projecting changes in the Earth’s
ecosystems. NASA field campaigns provide point
The User Working Group (UWG) of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and imagery data to develop the extrapolation
(ORNL) DAAC met on May 10-11, 1999 in Herndon, Virginia. This meeting process. The field campaigns supported by the
was devoted primarily to a review of the mission and objectives of the ORNL ORNL DAAC include: FIFE (First ISLSCP [Interna-
tional Satellite Land Surface Climatology project]
DAAC (see text box) and the role of the UWG. The need for such an overview
Field Experiment), BOREAS (Boreal Ecosystem-
meeting was primarily prompted by the timing of the release of the National Atmosphere Study), LBA (Large-scale Biosphere
Research Council’s review of the DAACs, which raised fundamental ques- Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia), Earth
tions about the mission and future activities of NASA’s ESDIS (Earth Sciences Observing System (EOS) Land Validation, and
SAFARI 2000 (Southern African Regional Science
Data and Information System), and the ORNL DAAC. The NRC review
prompted considerable discussion within the UWG, which helped clarify the
ORNL DAAC’s role. The discussions were lively, wide ranging, and produc- Regional- and global-scale data sets of vegetation,
tive. soils, hydrology, and climate supplement data from
these intensive site-specific investigations are crucial
for validating remote-sensing products and for
Revised Mission Statement
driving and validating models at continental or
global scales.
The UWG agreed to the following revised Mission Statement for the ORNL
DAAC: As a data center that supports field investigations,
the ORNL DAAC provides a link between the data
provider and the end user after completion of a field
To meet the needs of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) and Earth Observing
project. This task involves developing an under-
System (EOS), the mission of the ORNL DAAC is to assemble, distribute, and standing of the objectives of the field experiments,
archive data for research, education, and policy formulation in terrestrial bio- how the data sets are interrelated within the field
geochemistry and the ecosystem dynamics of global environmental change. The project, and how the project relates to other field
investigations. We prepare ourselves for archiving
anticipated kinds of data include both ground-based and remote-sensing measure-
and distributing such data by being involved in the
ments related to biogeochemical and ecosystem processes. Sources of data include field investigation as early as possible. For example,
NASA-funded field campaigns, (such as FIFE, OTTER, BOREAS, EOS Land we are currently participating in the planning,
Validation, LBA), selected relevant measurements from EOS satellites, as well as scoping, and background-data-gathering activities
other biogeochemical dynamics data useful to the global-change research commu- for the LBA field campaign. Data from the ecology
and hydrology components of this multidisciplinary
international investigation will be archived at the
ORNL DAAC. By participating in these early stages
This revised mission incorporates the UWG recommendation that the mission of a project, we not only develop a solid understand-
of the ORNL DAAC reflect the Earth Science Enterprise’s mission. The ESE ing of the purpose of the investigation, but we also
form a close working relationship with the project
mission is broader than that of EOS and includes, for example, the missions of
management, principal investigators, and project
the Terrestrial Ecology, Land Cover/Land Use Change, and Land Hydrology data-management staff.
Programs. ESDIS will work with the ORNL DAAC’s Program Scientist and
User Working Group to prioritize the DAAC activities to ensure that EOS and
ESE are supported.

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

NRC Review of the DAACs into the ECS Metadata Model, and that however, the UWG could recommend to
NASA investigate establishing a Memo- ESDIS that the ORNL DAAC be peer
In 1997-1998, EOSDIS, including the randum of Understanding with DOE, reviewed by a separate process.
ORNL DAAC, was reviewed by the which is the parent agency of ORNL, for
National Research Council’s Committee long-term archival of biogeochemical A significant change is the implementation
on Geophysical and Environmental Data. dynamics data at ORNL. The ORNL of a committee structure to augment the
NASA requested the EOSDIS review, DAAC will continue to work with ESDIS UWG’s efforts to provide guidance to the
based on the outcome of the 1995 review to develop a more-detailed understanding DAAC. Four new UWG committees were
of the U.S. Global Change Research of users and to serve as the basis for established: ecosystem modeling, field
Program and the role of NASA’s Office of enhancing the performance of EOSDIS campaigns, land validation, and technol-
Earth Science activities in this program. and individual DAACs. The NRC thought ogy innovations. These committees will
The complete text of the NRC Review of that ESDIS should devote greater attention meet once a year, usually in conjunction
the DAACs, which was released in early to the role of the ORNL DAAC in the with other meetings. The full UWG will
1999, may be found at http:// success of the EOS Program—in particular meet once a year, and an executive the importance of its role in validation of committee, made up of the UWG chair
land data products. This attention will and the chairs of the four committees, will
The UWG discussed the six recommenda- support the ORNL DAAC’s activities as a meet once a year.
tions from the NRC for the ORNL DAAC full player in EOSDIS and thereby help it
and the general recommendations for all become better integrated within the The UWG agreed to revise the make-up of
DAACs. A brief summary of the NRC DAAC system. the group. Ex officio members now will
recommendations and UWG discussions include the ORNL DAAC Manager, the
is presented here. The NRC emphasized the need for ORNL DAAC Scientist, the ORNL DAAC
ground-based measurements to properly Program Scientist, and the ESDIS Project
The NRC committee encouraged the interpret remotely-sensed data. Integra- Representative. The UWG recommends
ORNL DAAC to develop a mission and tion of in situ and remote sensing data is a that senior ESDIS management be invited
strategic plan that guides every decision fundamental question of scales: how does to attend at least one of the full UWG
the DAAC makes, from participation in one relate field measurements made at a meetings every other year.
the relevant EOS flight missions, to point (e.g., gas transport measurements
priorities for data acquisition, ingest, and from flux towers, net primary productiv- Voting members will include scientists
preparation. The UWG and the ORNL ity, river discharge, leaf area index) with representing past and current NASA field
DAAC revised and clarified the mission remote-sensing measurements made with projects in biogeochemical dynamics,
statement (discussed above) and dis- 250-m or 100-km resolution? The UWG NASA interdisciplinary studies projects,
cussed a draft strategic plan written by the agreed that there was fundamental and biogeochemical dynamics projects
DAAC staff. The DAAC is in the process research that needed to be addressed sponsored by other agencies or institu-
of preparing a strategic plan for all aspects through targeted funding, not from tions. The UWG membership should
of DAAC operations and has worked first routine DAAC activities. include someone from the Environmental
on the science elements. In addition, the Sciences Division, ORNL, as is stated in
ORNL DAAC is participating in the UWG Charter and Operations the current charter. The ex officio Members
development of an ESDIS Project Strategic will be non-voting members.
Plan, which is based on the EOS Science The UWG agreed that the charter should
Plan and the ESE Earth Science Implemen- be revised, although the basic responsibil- Mercury
tation Plan. ity and authority of the UWG will remain
essentially unchanged from the March The development and use of the Mercury
Several of the NRC recommendations in 1994 version of the Charter. The UWG was system at the ORNL DAAC drew strong
the ORNL chapter were targeted at ESDIS established to provide guidance and give praise and support from the UWG.
and the EOS and ESE Programs. The NRC recommendations to the DAAC on data Mercury is a distributed, Web-based
recommended that ESDIS incorporate archival activities. The UWG does not system for metadata search and data
metadata for ground-based measurements provide a formal review of the DAAC; retrieval (for a description of Mercury, see


text box). It works with data and metadata residing on investigators’ web
servers. Mercury makes the metadata searchable by copying it to a central Mercury: A distributed web-based search and retrieval
site and organizing it with Internet search engine software. Users search system http://mercury.ornl. gov/
the index at ORNL and can be connected to the data by a hypertext link.
Mercury is a web-based system that allows the searching of
distributed metadata files to identify data sets of interest
This new approach for coordination of distributed data will significantly and the delivery of those data sets directly to the user. The
expand the ability of the DAAC to provide access to a wider range of researcher providing the data set maintains full control of
data. The UWG suggested that the Mercury system be used to support both metadata and data files.
the ecosystem-modeling community by making important data sets
To submit a data set to Mercury, researchers prepare
available, which may not be ready for archive. Furthermore, the UWG
associated metadata with Mercury’s Metadata Editor (see
recommended that the climate, soil, vegetation, land use, and hydrology below). Next, they make the metadata, documentation,
data sets identified by Jon Foley be included in Mercury. and data (optionally) accessible to Mercury by simply
placing them on a web server. Researchers need not run
any database software on their machines, and their data
The UWG encouraged the DAAC to be more proactive in identifying,
can reside in any convenient format (ASCII, netCDF,
acquiring, and ingesting data sets that are within the general UWG spreadsheets, HDF-EOS, etc.). Periodically, Mercury
guidance. In the past, the DAAC sought UWG concurrence on each data retrieves the metadata files via the Internet and automati-
set prior to acquiring. To implement this suggestion, the DAAC should cally builds a metadata index (used to provide the search
compile and maintain a list of potential new data sets; from this list the capabilities) at the central ORNL data facility.

UWG and DAAC will prioritize data sets for ingest into the archive.
Mercury is designed to support the data and information
needs of field projects (like the EOS Land Validation
End Note Program and LBA-Ecologya) where the critical aspects of a
desirable system are: 1) early exchange of data between
The expectation following this meeting, which was devoted to concerns researchers, 2) complete control of data visibility in the
system maintained by researchers, 3) rapid and economic
of a more-fundamental nature, is that future meetings can return to more-
deployment, and 4) high automation and easy scalability. In
direct discussion of data set priorities and to a review of, and recommen- addition, Mercury is being used by the DAAC to provide
dations for, DAAC actions. early access to data sets generated for regional and global
ecosystem modeling activities (climate, vegetation, soils,
hydrology, and land-cover/land-use change). The
This meeting also marked the end of Bill Emanuel’s (University of
development of Mercury has been funded by the LBA-
Virginia) tenure as Chair of the UWG. The ORNL DAAC and the UWG Ecology project, ESDIS, NASA’s Prototype Office, and
have benefitted greatly from the outstanding efforts of Bill Emanuel, ORNL.
whose service to the UWG has shown his great devotion. His help and
The Metadata Editor, developed by ORNL staff, provides
tireless attention to the issues confronting the ORNL DAAC and its UWG
the capability to insert metadata into existing web pages.
are greatly appreciated. Curtis Woodcock (Boston University) now serves This metadata, although not necessarily visible when
as Chair. viewing the web page over the Internet with a browser, is
accessible to Mercury. The Metadata Editor is easily
adapted for different projects by providing a new configu-
ration file that identifies metadata elements, their structure,
and their allowable values. These configuration files are
eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Data Type Definition
(DTD) files. LBA-Ecology is developing a software tool to
allow creation of EOSDIS Guide Documents that will work
with the Metadata Editor.

The Large-scale Biosphere Atmosphere (LBA) Experiment in
Amazonia Ecology component selected the name Beija-flor (which
means “flower kisser” in Portuguese) for its implementation of
Mercury. Beija-flor is represented by a hummingbird (Brazil’s
national bird) traveling from flower to flower, gathering nectar.

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

The observation of a landslide is very
difficult because of its sudden nature, but
Requirements For Landslide Signature the signature persists and can be followed

Observation By Satellite up. The growth of a landslide signature is
an indication of new landslides. New
— Luis G. Hidalgo (, University of Central Venezuela Engineering landslides are indications of geological
Faculty, School of Civil Engineering, Department of Hydrometeorology, Caracas, instability in an area that represents new
contingency problems. These problems
need permanent observation and follow
up for periods of years to decades.

The necessity of satellite imagery
Abstract down the corrose of the Limon River
reach. Lives and civil structures were
Two main facts point to the use of the
A list of requirements for satellite observa- damaged irrecoverably. The slipping
large geographical capability of satellite
tion of landslide signatures is presented down produced a characteristic grave
imagery. First, photographs of the
for northern South America. Images with sound that was audible far away, but that
signatures can be taken on the ground
a frequency of 15 days with a spatial was not interpreted as a landslide by the
from routes and small towns, but it is
resolution better than 1170 m2 (at the sub- people crossing or camping in the park.
possible that other cases are occurring in
satellite point) inside the time interval The corresponding signature of the slide is
uninhabited areas, and that no informa-
9:45-13:00 LST are required. Panchromatic, exhibited in Figure 1. A second kind of
tion is thereafter gathered. Second, a
yellow, red, and infrared radiometric slide does not develop so fast, but in terms
single signature can be studied by ground
bands are necessary to delimit slides. The of days to weeks. A slide of this last kind
photography but the presence of addi-
joint use of satellite images and color occurred in the period May 15-18, 1999 in
tional hidden signatures outside the
photographs is recommended whenever the Andes near Tabay (Venezuela, 8°38´N;
photograph is possible. These two facts
possible. Satellites such as Landsat-7 and 71°05´W). The landslide sound was
confirm the need for satellite-imagery.
Terra meet these requirements. audible in Tabay during hours of calm
However, the use of photography is
wind and light motor traffic. Figure 2
maintained whenever possible because of
Introduction presents the signature of this slide taken
its superior resolution, color discrimina-
near noon, May 18, 1999. A photo dated
A landslide is a slipping down of soil, tion, and precise registration capability.
August 27, 1999 (Figure 3) indicates few
rocks, and debris on a mountain side. The requirements for the satellite-imagery
changes in the slide signature, as can be
After the landslide, a signature constituted part of the observational needs for an area
deduced by a comparison with Figure 2.
by a bright spot of bare soil or rock such as that in Figure 2 are listed below.
The photographs of the signature near
generally remains in the mountain. The Tabay are useful for diagnosis, and they
signature presents a sharp contrast with • Spatial resolution in the order of
were taken from the same place during the
the darkness of the background forest. RS=1170 m2 or better (sub-satellite
moments in which the signature presented
Landslides are no rare phenomena in the pixel of 34 m x 34 m). This value was
maximum brightness under similar zoom
scarped mountains of northern South obtained by dividing the area
settings. Figure 4 shows the signature of
America, but there is not a well estab- (AS=140000 m2) of the spot of Figure 3
Figure 3, but at a time in which the area
lished procedure to observe and follow up by a minimum number of pixels
was illuminated laterally and clouds were
the signatures. (N=120) suitable for statistical
present. Color photography permits an
analysis. The signature of Figure 3 is
evaluation of the signature alteration.
One kind of landslide develops rapidly in accepted as the minimum slide area
More explanations on the principles of the
a period from minutes to hours, such as for satellite monitoring. The value of
use of photography for satellite applica-
that on September 6, 1986 in the Henry AS was determined using the
tions that will not be summarized here
Pittier Forest Park near Maracay (Venezuela, photograph-camera geometry and
were given by Hidalgo (1998).
10°20´N, 67°40´W) where a large slide single calculations. The data for
associated with an intense rainfall ran calculations embraced a distance of 2


km from camera to signature, zoom There are no time references in the delimit the signature by thermal
of 80 mm, film frames of 36 mm x 24 main local journals, but the signature differences in case of lateral illumina-
mm, paper print size of 150 mm x 100 of Figure 1 extends over a period of tion and shadows.
mm, mean land slope of 45° and a about 13 years. The observation of
signature area of 1.6% of the whole landslide signature must be a never- • Image format: Images constituted by
print. Figures 2-3 present sectors of ending activity for the safety of the 640 pixels/line in the West-East
the whole photographs only. Some citizens but the present analysis direction (left-right of screen) with
features of the calculations were recommends a 10-year monitoring 250 lines in the North-South position
presented by Hidalgo (1993). span with the same family of (top-down of screen) that could be
satellites. fitted to single computer screens are
• Repeat time of about NR=15 days or . very useful for analysis without
less with passes in the interval 9:45- • Some radiometric bands: The problems related to image fitting.
13:00 LST during more than 10 years panchromatic band in the range 0.4- That format represents an area of
are the time requirements. That 0.7 µm will be necessary to calculate about 22 km x 9 km if the pixel is 34-m
number of days will permit the the approximate area of the signa- wide by 34-m high. An approximate
evaluation of a determined slide ture. Some single-color bands, such search radius of 8 km centered on the
signature after its formation, and the as the yellow and the red, could be geographical co-ordinates of the slide
interval will permit maximum used successfully to trace the is recommended. A binary grey-
illumination and minimum interfer- boundary between soil and forest. scaled pixel of 8 bits taken from the
ence of tropical cumulus convection. The thermal-infrared band helps to source image is necessary for the use

Figure 1. Signature of a landslide in the Henry Pittier Forest Figure 3. As in Figure 2 but for 12:10 LST, August 27, 1999
Park (Venezuela) that occurred on September 6, 1986. Date of
picture is May 1, 1989.

Figure 2. Signature of a landslide developed during the period Figure 4. As in Figure 2 but for 9:45 LST, August 29, 1999.
May 15-18, 1999 in the Andes near Tabay (Venezuela). Time The landslide signature area is illuminated laterally and clouds
and date of picture are 11:45 LST, May 18, 1999. This Figure is are present.
a sector of the corresponding whole color print.

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

of software produced with single The analysis of the capabilities of References
compilers and inexpensive file those satellites and the comparison
Hidalgo. L. G. 1993: Smoke plume
managers. The calibration curve for with the present requirements are
features determined from successive
counts is also needed. outside the range of the present
photographs. Meteor. Mag. 122. 218-220.
work. Details of satellite Terra are
• Affordable cost and prompt avail- given by King (1999)
Hidalgo L. G. 1998: Primary experiments
ability of sector imagery on the
on the determination of albedo from
Internet. Conclusion.
geostationary satellite applications.
Proceedings, 10th Symposium on Meteo-
• The preferable satellites are those of It was possible to establish a list of the
rological Observations and Instrumenta-
the latest technology, such as Landsat main requirements for observation and
tion, Phoenix, Arizona, January 11-16,
7 and Terra, which provide data with follow up of single landslide signatures by
1998, American Meteorological Society. pp
such high accuracy and spatial imagery from satellites such as Landsat-7
resolution as to permit practical use and Terra.
in landslide-signature applications. King, M., 1999: Editor´s corner. The Earth
Observer. Jan/Feb, vol. 11, No. 1.

USRA/GSFC Graduate Student Summer 2000 Program In Earth
System Science
— GSSP Program Coordinator (, Universities Space Research Association, Seabrook, MD

The Universities Space Research Associa- Students will also participate in an Students must commit for the full ten-
tion, in collaboration with the Goddard introductory lecture series and informal week period (June 5 - August 11, 2000).
Space Flight Center’s Earth Sciences weekly lunch discussions with GSFC Because of NASA/GSFC security regula-
Directorate, is offering a limited number researchers, and have the opportunity to tions, citizens of certain proscribed nations
of graduate-student research opportuni- tour key NASA facilities and meet with may be ineligible. Prospective applicants
ties for the Summer of 2000. The Program NASA and industry scientific leaders. who are non-U.S. citizens should contact
is scheduled for June 5 to August 11, 2000. the Program Coordinator to confirm
The program is open to students enrolled eligibility.
The aim of this program is to attract and in, or accepted to, accredited U.S. graduate
introduce promising students to Earth programs in the Earth, physical or Details and a formal application may be
system science career options through biological sciences, mathematics, or obtained by contacting the GSSP Program
hands-on educational research experiences engineering disciplines. Students will be Coordinator at the mail address or e-mail
in the Earth sciences at NASA. Each selected on the basis of academic record, address below, or downloaded from http:/
student will be teamed with a NASA demonstrated motivation and qualification / The deadline
scientist mentor with parallel scientific to pursue multidisciplinary research in the for applications is February 11, 2000.
interests to jointly develop and carry out Earth sciences, clarity and relevance of
an intensive research project at GSFC over stated research interests to NASA pro- GSSP Program Coordinator
the ten-week period. NASA mentors will grams, and letters of recommendation. Universities Space Research Association
be drawn from within the three participat- Preference will be given to students who 7501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 206
ing Earth Science laboratories at Goddard: have completed at least one year of Seabrook, MD 20706
The Laboratory for Atmospheres, The graduate study. Minorities and women are e-mail:
Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes, encouraged to apply.
and The Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics.


throughout the stratosphere decline, and
ozone levels will begin to recover. The
Annual Depletion Of Antarctic Ozone actual rate of recovery will likely be

Results Are In: ‘Ozone Hole’ Smaller affected by the increasing abundance of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Than Last Year Detecting the recovery of the ozone hole
will require a number of years of measure-
— David E. Steitz, Headquarters, Washington, DC ments.
— Cynthia O’Carroll (, Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, MD
Ozone molecules, made up of three atoms
of oxygen, comprise a thin layer of the
atmosphere that absorbs harmful ultravio-
let radiation from the Sun. Most atmo-
spheric ozone is found between 6 and 18
A NASA satellite has shown that the area the ozone layer would be if all the
miles above the Earth’s surface.
of ozone depletion over the Antarctic — overhead ozone molecules in a column of
the well-known ozone “hole” — is a bit atmosphere could be brought down to the
Ozone shields life on Earth from the
less in 1999 than it was last year. Earth’s surface.
harmful effects of the Sun’s ultraviolet
radiation. Scientists and others have a
“This Antarctic year’s ozone depletion Globally, the ozone layer averages
keen interest in ozone depletion. Increased
area, or ozone ‘hole,’ is very large, but approximately 300 Dobson Units, which
amounts of ultraviolet radiation that reach
slightly smaller than that of 1998,” said Dr. would correspond to a layer about 1/8th
the Earth’s surface due to ozone loss
Richard McPeters, principal investigator of an inch (3 millimeters) thick at the
might increase the incidence of skin cancer
for the instrument that made the measure- Earth’s surface, about the thickness of two
and cataracts in humans, depress the
ments. stacked pennies. In contrast, during the
human immune system, harm some crops,
annual Antarctic ozone “hole,” the
This year’s study found that an ozone and interfere with marine life.
amount of ozone in the ozone “hole” is
“low” had formed between New Zealand
about 100 Dobson Units, about 1/25th of These measurements were obtained
and Antarctica on Sept. 17. This sort of
an inch, or approximately the thickness of between mid-August and early October
ozone low, commonly referred to as a
a single dime. using the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrom-
“mini-hole,” is a result of the redistribu-
eter (TOMS) instrument aboard NASA’s
tion of ozone by a large weather system.
The slightly decreased size of the ozone Earth Probe (TOMS-EP) satellite. NASA
The “mini-hole” moved eastward along
“hole” from last year is not an indication instruments have been measuring
the rim of the Antarctic “ozone hole” for a
of the recovery of Antarctic ozone levels. Antarctic ozone levels since the early
number of days after Sept. 17.
The current year-to-year variations of size 1970s. Since the discovery of the ozone
Preliminary data from the satellite show and depth of the ozone “hole” depend “hole” in 1985, TOMS has been a key
that this year’s Antarctic ozone depletion primarily on the variations in meteorologi- instrument for monitoring ozone levels
covered 9.8 million square miles on Sept. cal conditions. over the Earth.
15. The record area of Antarctic ozone
The Antarctic ozone losses are caused by TOMS ozone data and pictures are
depletion of 10.5 million square miles was
set on Sept. 19, 1998. chlorine and bromine compounds released available on the Internet:
by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and or http://
The ozone levels are expected to decrease halons. Due to international treaties
over the next two weeks. The lowest regulating the production of these gases,
amount of total-column ozone recorded to the amount of chlorine in the stratosphere
date this year was 92 Dobson Units on is close to maximum value and, in some
Oct. 1. In contrast, ozone levels of 90 regions, is beginning to decline. In the
Dobson Units were observed at one point next century, chlorine-induced ozone
last year. Dobson units measure how thick losses will be reduced as chlorine amounts

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

tractors on their way to inland stations are
visible. “We have a new view of the entire
NASA Unveils New, Most Accurate Map southern continent. It shows us something
Of Antarctic Continent about an extraordinary part of our world
and how humans may be changing it —
— David E. Steitz, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. on both local and global scales,” said
— Allen Kenitzer (, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. Jezek.

Jezek and his colleagues have been
working to complete the enormous map
since the Canadian Space Agency began
For 18 days during the Southern Hemi- to 100 times faster than the ice they the mission with a complex in-orbit
sphere spring of 1997, a NASA-launched channel through, with speeds up to 3000
rotation of the satellite. Researchers chose
Canadian satellite called RADARSAT-1 feet per year. “There are some extraordi-
RADARSAT because its radar collects data
collected pieces of a puzzle that will help nary ice streams in East Antarctica that
day and night, through cloudy weather or
scientists study the most remote and extend almost 500 miles — nearly the clear. Such capability enabled the map-
inaccessible part of the Earth — Antarc- distance along the Mississippi River from
ping to be completed in just 18 days,
tica. Scientists now have put the puzzle New Orleans to Cairo, Illinois,” Jezek said.
compared to the last satellite map of
pieces together, forming the first high-
Antarctica, which required images from
resolution radar map of the mysterious Ice streams form the most energetic parts five different satellites spanning a 13-year
frozen continent. of the Antarctic ice sheet, and scientists
period from 1980 to 1994. Even at that
believe that they are quite susceptible to
time, parts of the continent remained
With fine detail to the point of picking out environmental change. Ice streams also
obscured by cloud cover.
a research bungalow on an iceberg, the transport most of the snow that falls on
new map has both answered scientists’ the continent’s interior and dump it into The map also depends on accurate ground
questions about the icy continent, and left the ocean.
measurements by scientists from many of
them scratching their heads about what to
the nations that study Antarctica. “The
make of strange and fascinating features “We’ve recently used RADARSAT and
entire mission was conducted in a true
never seen before. other satellite data to estimate that one ice- spirit of international cooperation, and
stream system sends over 19 cubic miles of
that is why it succeeded,” said Verne
“This map is truly a new window on the ice to the sea every year — an amount
Kaupp, NASA’s Alaska SAR Facility
Antarctic continent, providing new equivalent to burying Washington, DC, in
Director and Chief Scientist.
beginnings in our Earth science studies 1700 feet of ice every 12 months,” said
there,” said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Associate Jezek.
RADARSAT-1 is owned and operated by
Administrator for Earth Science, NASA
the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Its
Headquarters, Washington, DC. The new Antarctica looks pure, white, and mostly
data is distributed and marketed by
map was produced as part of NASA’s featureless to the low-resolution satellites RADARSAT International, a Canadian
Antarctic Mapping Project. that previously mapped the frozen
company licensed by the CSA. “We at the
landscape. With the new RADARSAT
Canadian Space Agency are very pleased
The most amazing features scientists now map, however, the continent comes alive.
to make this significant contribution to the
see are twisted patterns of ice draining Blocks of broken sea ice line the coast and international science community,” said Dr.
from the ice sheet into the ocean. “We sedimentary rock protrudes from the
Rolf Mamem, Director General, CSA Space
were surprised to see a complex network rocky walls of Antarctica’s Dry Valleys.
Operations Branch. “We are looking
of ice streams reaching deep into the heart The vast, perplexing Antarctic Ice Sheet
forward to the exploitation of these data
of East Antarctica,” said Kenneth Jezek, a flows and twists into the sea, volcanoes for the benefit of all.”
glaciologist from the Byrd Polar Research poke through the ice sheet, and ice
Center at Ohio State University. Ice streams flow like rivers into the Southern
streams are vast rivers of ice that flow up Ocean. Even the tracks of wayward snow
(Continued on page 18)


and experts participating in the programs.

Earth Science Education Update A recently archived program, “As the Sun
Burns,” discussed the affects of the
Opportunity To Participate In Digital Library invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by
the sun. These are the rays that cause our
For Earth Science Education skin to burn and affect global warming.
Guest experts included a solar scientist
— Nahid Khazenie (, Education Program Manager, and an opthamologist who explained the
Office of Earth Science, NASA Headquarters effects of these rays and how we can best
— Steve Graham (, EOS Project Science Office,
Raytheon ITSS protect ourselves. This was the first in a
year-long Webcast Series on Solar Science,
which includes on-line curricula for
grades 2-12. For more information, see

Earth science educators at all levels are servers established at the DLESE web site ESE Interactive Educational
invited to participate in a new initiative. ( The CD-ROM
library effort is moving forward beyond
The National Science Foundation (NSF) planning. With NSF funding, a prototype An overview of the latest research related
and NASA have joined together to library system is under construction by a to our global environment is now avail-
sponsor development of a Digital Library consortium that includes the University able on CD-ROM from NASA’s Earth
for Earth System Education (DLESE). The Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Observing System (EOS) Science Project
library is envisioned as providing: 1) easy, Incorporated Research Institutions for Office. The Earth Science Enterprise
organized access to high-quality, peer- Seismology, the Universities Space Educational CD-ROM contains a myriad
reviewed educational materials about all Research Association, the Keck Geology of images, animations, and narrations on
of the Earth system at all educational Consortium, the University of Colorado, the four major topics emphasized by the
levels, and 2) student friendly access to and the University of California-Santa program including the Earth’s atmo-
data about the Earth system. The goal is to Barbara. This effort will be guided by a sphere, land, ice, and oceans. The presen-
build a community library that meets the steering committee that will be looking for tation of these topics ranges from general
needs of educators in all parts of the Earth your input both electronically and through to a more-detailed and scientific approach
sciences. a set of committees. If you are interested suitable for high school and undergradu-
in helping on a committee, please contact ate university curriculums.
The first steps are already taking place. one of the following people: Donald
NSF and NASA sponsored a community Johnson, University of Wisconsin, Both natural and human-induced changes
workshop to develop an initial library; Cathryn A. Manduca, to our global environment are illustrated,
vision and plan last summer. Preliminary Keck Geology Consortium Coordinator, and narrated. The Earth Science Enterprise
reports from that workshop are posted on; or John T. Snow, CD-ROM travels the globe — from
the web (http://geo_digital_library.ou. University of Oklahoma, deforestation and habitat loss on land, to
edu) and will be overviewed in a special the vital production of phytoplankton in
session at the San Francisco American NASA Quest Learning Technologies the ocean, to the instability of Arctic
Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting (EP03, Channel glaciers, to the Earth’s interaction with the
Wednesday afternoon). The preliminary sun’s energy.
reports are intended as a starting point for Located at NASA’s Ames Research Center,
community discussion. the QUEST Learning Technologies Also included are overviews of the many
Channel (LTC) produces live streaming components of the Earth Observing
You can also become involved in discus- video programs with open Chat Rooms System as well as data and information,
sion of the preliminary reports using list- for live interaction with NASA Scientists and educational resources. Complement-

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

ing the CD-ROM is an Activity Supple-
ment that contains activities for students
on the topics displayed in the CD-ROM. EOS Scientists in the News
— Emilie Lorditch (, Raytheon ITSS
For more information or copies of the CD- EOS Science & Information Team
ROM, please contact:

Lee McGrier
Phone: (301) 441-4259
Hannelore Parrish
Phone: (301) 441-4032 “NASA Images Show Shrinking Ozone more frequent and stronger storms during
e-mail: Hole,” CNN Interactive (Oct. 1) by Ann La Niña events.
Kellan. Paul Newman (NASA GSFC) says
TOPEX/Poseidon Resources that the hole in the ozone layer over the “Hurricane Floyd,” NBC Nightly News
South Pole is slightly smaller than last (Sept. 16). Roger Pielke, Sr., (Colo. State
An image gallery has been added to the year. Scientists predict that the ozone hole Univ.) and Roger Pielke, Jr. (Colo. State
TOPEX web site at http://topex- will disappear completely by 2060. Univ.) discuss hurricane Floyd and why it is such a powerful storm.
gallery.html. It is designed to serve “Fire’s Role in Global Warming Studied,”
the TOPEX/POSEIDON/JASON-1 Environmental News Network (Sept. 27). “La Niña Intensifies Threat of Hurricane
Science Working Team, NASA, educators, Dean Graetz (CSIRO) reports that fires Season,” CNN Interactive (Sept. 10) by Ann
and the general public by providing make a significant contribution to the Kellan. Tony Busalacchi (NASA GSFC)
images readily available for import into greenhouse effect and possibly account for explains that during El Niño events the
presentations, posters, and brochures. 40 percent of annual global greenhouse sub-tropical jet stream shifts south, which
gas emissions. Graetz says that little is blocks and weakens hurricanes, but La
El Niño/La Niña mouse pads have been known about where fires occur and how Niña shifts the jet stream north leaving an
produced and are available from the JPL much carbon they release. “open door” for hurricanes to form.
Employees Recreation Club. They can be
ordered through “Maryland Laser Tests May Help in EOS researchers please send notices of
store.htm. Global Warming Battle,” Balitmore Sun recent media coverage in which you have
(Sept. 25) by Frank Roylance. Ralph been involved to: Emilie Lorditch, EOS
Dubayah (Univ. of Md.) explains how the Project Science Office, Code 900, Goddard
Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) will Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771,
reveal the height and age, and the amount Tel. (301) 441-4031; fax: (301) 441-2432;
of carbon in the trees. By applying this e-mail:
information, Dubayah hopes to measure
the effects of deforestation on the global
carbon budget.

“Floyd: Offspring of La Niña,” Washington
Post (Sept. 16) by Guy Gugliotta. Kevin
Trenberth (NCAR) says that the strength
of Hurricane Floyd is not unexpected
because La Niña shifts the winds north
that ordinarily would tear a hurricane
apart before it could form. This leads to


Student, School Receive Award for Naming EOS Satellite
— David D. Herring (, Science Systems and Applications, Inc.

Meet Sasha Jones (left) and Kelly Harfst, David Herring and Sasha Jones were Representatives from NASA Goddard, AGU,
Sasha’s favorite science teacher. Thanks to interviewed by local television media. and the University of Montana presented part
Sasha, Ms. Harfst’s class now has access to of the grand-prize award of a computer and
EOS information and data products via a brand software to Sasha Jones, contest winner.
new Macintosh G4 computer (far left). Pictured from left are Heather Milton, ESRI,
David Herring, NASA GSFC (SSAI), Sasha
Jones, and Frank Ireton, AGU.

Representatives from the EOS Project Dr. Frank Ireton, AGU’s Manager of In addition to winning the computer and
Science Office, the American Geophysical Education Programs, presented the award software for her school, Sasha won a trip
Union, and the University of Montana to Ms. Kelly Harfst, Sasha’s favorite for her and her family to watch Terra’s
converged recently on Brentwood High science teacher at Brentwood. Represent- launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base,
School in St. Louis, Missouri, to present a ing the EOS Project Science Office, David California.
computer and special software that Herring presented an overview of Terra’s
enables faculty and students to obtain science objectives. Herring also took the
data from the soon-to-be-launched Terra Brentwood science faculty on a virtual
satellite. Local media were invited to tour of NASA’s Earth Observatory web
cover the event. site. Dr. John Kuglin, who heads the EOS
Education Project at the University of
Brentwood High School is receiving this Montana, concluded the ceremony with a
computer and software suite thanks to one tutorial on software tools and education
of its 1999 graduates, Sasha Jones, who support services that his team provides
won a joint NASA-AGU essay contest to high school educators, enabling them to (Continued from page 15)
rename the EOS AM-1 satellite. She chose introduce EOS remote-sensing data into
the name “Terra,” the Latin name for the classroom. NASA Unveils New, Most Accurate
Earth, in honor of our planet’s mythical Map Of Antarctic Continent
Mother Earth. Sasha’s entry was selected Sasha is now in her freshman year at the
as the winner by Dr. Ghassem Asrar, University of Missouri-St. Louis, where RADARSAT images of Antarctica are
NASA’s Associate Administrator for the she is majoring in English Literature. She available on the Internet at:
Earth Science Enterprise, after a series of aspires to becoming a high school or
judging rounds distilled the 1,100 entries middle school English teacher. antarctica.html
down to 10 finalists.

September/October 1999 • Vol. 11 No. 5

March 7-10, tel. (867) 920-
Science Calendar Oceanology International 2000. Call for 3329, URL at
Papers. Contact Christine Rose, Conference circumpolar2000.
Executive, Oceanology International 2000,
Spearhead Exhibitions Ltd, Ocean House, 50 July 16-23
• 2000 •
Kingston Road, New Malden, Surrey KT3 3LZ, International Society for Photogrammetry &
UK. Tel. +44 (0) 20 8949 9222; Fax: +44 (0) Remote Sensing (ISPRS) 2000, Amsterdam.
Feburary 23-25
20 8949 8186/8193; e-mail: christine.rose@ Call for Abstracts. Contact organizing
AVIRIS Earth Science and Applications; URL at http://www. secretariat, tel. +31 20 50 40 203; Fax: +31 20
Workshop, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Contact 50 40 225; e-mail:
Robert Green, e-mail:,
March 14-15 July 24-28
Adaptive Sensor Array Processing Workshop, IEEE 2000 International Geoscience and
April 11-13
MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Call for Papers. Remote Sensing Symposium, 20th
EOS Investigators Working Group Meeting
Contact Edward J. Baranoski, e-mail: Anniversary, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu,
(IWG), Tucson, AZ. Contact Mary Floyd, e-mail:, URL at http:// Hawaii. Call for Papers. For up-to-date data
Mfloyd@westover-gb.COM. regarding submissions, access the conference
website at
March 27-31
Global Change Calendar 28th International Symposium on Remote July 24-29
Sensing of Environment, Cape Town, South International Radiation Symposium (IRS-
Africa. Call for Papers. For abstracts 2000), Saint Petersburg State University, St.
December 13-17 submission:, or Petersburg, Russia. Contact conference
The 1999 American Geophysical Union (AGU) URL at, Fax: +27 21 883 coordinator, Evgenia M. Shulgina, St.
Fall Meeting, Moscone Center, San Francisco, 8177; tel. +27 21 886 4496 (ask for Deidré Petersburg State University, Research Institute
CA. Contact: AGU, 2000 Florida Avenue, N.W. Cloete); postal: The 28th ISRSE technical of Physics, 1 Ulyanovskaya, 198904, St.
Washington, D.C. 20009. Tel. (202) 462-6910; committee, P.O. Box 452, Stellenbosch, 7599, Petersburg, Russia; Fax: +7 (812) 428-72-40;
Fax: (202) 939-3229. South Africa. e-mail: Evgenia.Shulgina@pobox.; or
• 2000 • April 4-8
The Association of American Geographers August 6-17
January 9-14
(AAG), Pittsburgh, PA. Contact: (202) 234- 31st International Geological Congress &
American Meteorological Society 2000, Long
1450, e-mail:, URL: http:// Scientific Exhibits, Rio de Janeiro. Contact
Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA. Call Tania Franken, tel. 55 21 537-4338; Fax: 55 21
(202) 682-9006; Fax: (202) 682-9298; e-mail:
537-7991, e-mail:, May 22-26 website at
ASPRS: The Imaging and Geospatial
February 8-9
Information Society, 2000 Annual Conference, August 21-25
“Oceanography: The Making of a Science:
May 22-26, 2000. Washington, DC. Call for 10th Australasian Remote Sensing and
People, Institutions, and Discovery,” Scripps
Papers. For abstracts submission see URL at Photogrammetry Conference, Adelaide,
Institution of Oceanography, LaJolla, CA.; tel. (410) 208- Australia. Tel. 026257 3299; e-mail:
Contact Ida Herfurth, tel. (858) 534-2826;
2855; Fax: (410) 641-8341; e-mail:
October 16-20
February 16-17
May 30-June 3 ERS-ENVISA Symposium “Looking at our
Earth Watch/Intermap STAR-3i IFSAR Data
The 2000 American Geophysical Union Spring Earth in the New Millennium,” Gothenburg,
Workshop, Stennis Space Center, MS. Contact
Meeting, Washington, DC. Contact AGU, tel. Sweden. Call for Papers. Contact Prof. J.
Brett Thomassie, e-mail:
(800) 966-2481 or (202) 462-6900; fax: (202) Askne, e-mail:;, URL at
328-0566; e-mail:; URL website at

February 17-22
June 12-14
American Association for Advancement of
Sixth Circumpolar Symposium on Remote
Science (AAAS), Washington, DC. Call (202)
Sensing of Polar Environments, Yellowknife,
326-6736, URL at
Northwest Territories, Canada. E-mail:

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The Earth Observer

The Earth Observer is published by the EOS Project Science Office, Code 900, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, telephone (301) 614-5559, FAX (301) 614-5620, and is available on the World Wide Web at or by writing to the above address. Articles, contributions to the meeting calendar, and
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