The Role of Advanced Information System Technology in Remote Sensing for NASA
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The Role of Advanced Information System Technology in Remote Sensing for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. Glenn Prescott Office of Earth Science, NASA HQ Steve Smith Earth Science Technology Office Karen Moe Earth Science Technology Office. NASA’s Strategy for Remote Sensing.

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Glenn Prescott Office of Earth Science, NASA HQ Steve Smith Earth Science Technology Office

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Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

The Role of Advanced Information System Technology in Remote Sensing for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise

Glenn Prescott

Office of Earth Science, NASA HQ

Steve Smith

Earth Science Technology Office

Karen Moe

Earth Science Technology Office


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

NASA’s Strategy for Remote Sensing

  • Past approach focused on Large complex platforms

    • Multiple instruments performing diverse measurements

    • Data transmitted to ground and stored in large archives

    • Scientists accessed data to derive information

  • Present and near-term approach focuses on cheaper, lighter platforms

    • Single mission platforms

    • Instruments have higher precision, resolution and timeliness

    • Larger quantities of data to be transferred, stored and analyzed

  • The future strategy for NASA Earth Science measurements is defined by the Earth Science Vision….


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Challenge of the Earth Science Vision

  • The Goal:

  • Modeling and assessment will evolve from characterizing the earth through a variety of independent measurements to assessing and forecasting the state of the Earth System based on the fusion of multiple, diverse scientific measurements.

  • The Implementation:

  • A constellation of small, instrumented satellites as well as airborne and in-situ instruments, networked together into an organic measurement system.

    • High speed data links and internetworking tie the system together

    • Intelligent on-board systems allow sensor autonomy

    • On-board signal and data processing give more options to the scientist


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Challenge of the Earth Science Vision


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Challenge of the Earth Science Vision

  • Technology Features:

    • Autonomous operation allows each sensor to react to significant measurement events on and above the Earth, increasing precision and coverage where needed, without human intervention.

    • On-board signal processing capability allows scientists the option of configuring instrument parameters on demand and controlling on-board algorithms to preprocess the data for information extraction.

    • High speed information systems route user requests to specific instruments and maximize the transfer rate of data to processing and archive facilities on the ground.

The key element in integrating all of the component parts of the sensor web is information technology…


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

The Role of Information Technology

  • Information technology ties the sensor web together and provides a degree of control and access to space-based instruments that does not currently exist.

  • Information technology challenges can be broadly classified into categories relating to

    • Satellite on-board functions – pertaining to collection, processing and transmission of data

    • Ground based functions – pertaining to data management, analysis, and information extraction

  • Long range planning is required for technologies needed to bring the Earth science vision into reality. NASA engages scientists, engineers and technologists to determine the priority technologies that will provide the capabilities needed to implement the Earth science vision.

  • These key technologies are described in terms of ground based and space based needs…


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Space-Based Information Technology

  • High Speed Data Delivery

    Technologies increasing bandwidth available for space/ground communications

  • Data Compression and Storage

    Techniques and devices for efficient on-board storage and maximizing bandwidth utilization

  • Space Based Computing Architectures

    Techniques for implementing (radiation tolerant and reconfigurable) high-speed data and signal processing systems

  • Intelligent Platform and Sensor Control

    Technologies enabling autonomous goal-directed operations of one or more cooperating satellites


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Space-Based Information Technology

  • ESTO Key Investments Needed to Evolve toward the ESV

    • High Speed Data Delivery

      • High Data Rate Communications

      • Satellite IP Network

    • Data Compression and Storage

      • Lossless and Lossy Data Compression

      • Onboard Storage Architecture

    • Space Based Computing Architectures

      • Microprocessor and Board/Bus Technology

    • Intelligent Platform and Sensor Control

      • Platform Autonomy

      • Navigation Technologies


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: High-Speed Data Delivery

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

High Data Rate Communication

X-Band Technologies

Ka-Band Technologies

Optical Technologies

Addresses the need for ever increasing rates of data transfer from satellite to ground, and even from satellite to satellite. Increasing operating frequency permits greater bandwidth and hence higher data rates.

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Satellite IP Network

TCP Over Satellite

Onboard Routers & Switches

IP over Sat w/ larger network

IP Networks on Satellites

TDRSS Supports Routable Nets

Flight Qual End-to-end IP

IP to the Instrument

Sensor webs, or groups for formation flying spacecraft will need to have intra-constellation connectivity in order to hand off processing tasks, route data and enable navigation.


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: Data Compression and Storage

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Lossless & Lossy Data Compression

20 Msps ~ 2:1 Comp Ratio

JPEG Lossy Comp

High Performance Feature Identification for Preferential Compression

80 Msps 2:1 Comp Ratio

80 Msps 3:1 Comp Ratio

220 Msps 5:1 Comp Ratio

ROI Lossy Comp

Allows more efficient use of available bandwidth. When combined with feature identification, can significantly increase the quantity of useful scientific data collected in a time interval

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Onboard Storage Architecture

Mag/Optical Hybrid Planar0.002 bits/µm3300 Mbits/sec

Volumetric/Optical 1st Generation0.05 bits/µm3500 Mbits/sec

Volumetric/Optical 2nd Generation0.1 bits/µm31 Gbits/sec

Solid State

Volumetric/Optical 3rd Generation0.2 bits/µm32 Gbits/sec

Instruments having greater precision and resolution will require larger amounts of on-board storage. May also enable effective pre-processing of the data.


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: Space-Based Computing Architectures

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Microprocessor, Board and Bus Technology

Rad Hardened Sandia Pentium

High Bandwidth Optical Bus (Gbps)

3 - 4 GIPS Processor

High Performance Boards (100s MIPS)

FPGA Tool Sets

On-board processors will need to be reconfigurable in order to be used for data and signal processing tasks. Field Programmable Gate Array technology will be an essential element.


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: Intelligent Platform and Sensor Control

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Platform Autonomy

Remote Agent Arch for single autonomous spacecraft

Experimental Arch for multiple autonomous spacecraft (~3)

Experimental Reference Arch for multiple autonomous spacecraft (~5)

Agent-based Reference Arch for multiple autonomous spacecraft (~50)

Autonomy will be an essential part of platform control. Intelligent systems will control the sensor web and integrate the platform with sensor measurement requirements.

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Navigation Technologies

Onboard GPS tracking

Differential GPS and Lidar Systems

Self-calibrating nav systems

High precision control of cluster satellites

Precise navigation is essential for formation flying and a variety of precise geospatial measurements.


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Ground-Based Information Technology

  • Large Archival Storage

    Mass storage systems geared for Long Term Arc. with very large capacity and throughput requirements

  • Data Architecture

    Technical approaches enabling interoperability, scalability, and evolvability of data management systems

  • Data Discovery

    Techniques for finding and accessing data that are possibly unknown to the user or otherwise buried in large stores of complex information

  • Data Exploitation

    Technologies enabling application of algorithms and data to extract or project knowledge from one or more sources

    ESTO Key Investments Needed to Evolve toward the ESV…


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: Large Archival Storage

High-Performance Evolvable Archives

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Proprietary FSMS

Swath DBMS

High-Performance Evolvable FSMS

Advanced Media Benchmarks

Many current file storage management systems are proprietary. However these will evolve through storage, archival, and retrieval standards.


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: Data Architecture

Earth Science Data & Services Representation

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Research Code for Limited Semantic Extraction,

Basic Earth Science Information Representation

“Living” Data Lineage Technique

Effective Knowledge Representation

Extract semantic information from data set to describe the contents of a file in machine-readable terms such that an application can interpret the data in an intelligent manner

The association of valuable content descriptions and knowledge representation with sets of data to facilitate finding data that was previously unknown to the user of the system. Includes data exploitation tools for search, fusion and mining.


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: Data Discovery

Knowledge Extraction

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Research Code for Limited Knowledge Extraction / Change Detection

Pilot Extraction Tool Set

Automatic Change Detection & Task Initiation for Sensor Webs

Use of knowledge features, regions, models, objects, and semantics to detect changes in environment; then automatically task sensor webs to monitor regions of interest.

Enable transformation of data from one or more sources into knowledge:

- Data visualization

- Feature extraction

- Data fusion

- Data mining

- Semantic mapping


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Key Investments: Data Exploitation

Information Access and Delivery

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Independent Subscriptions

Partner on URN Technology

Real-time event recognition & products on demand

Adaptive / Customized Subscription / Advertising Services

Users can independently subscribe to data products

Earth Science Data Exploitation infrastructure:

- Combine data products and services

- Tools for finding and obtaining data

- Pilot set of reusable components

- Provide web sites with mining systems, tools and services for science community

Push/pull data & knowledge delivery when an event is recognized


Glenn prescott office of earth science nasa hq steve smith earth science technology office

Summary

  • A primary enabler of the Earth Science Vision is Information Technology – we call it “Advanced Information Systems Technology” and manage it as a program.

  • NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) has the task of assuring that needed technologies will be ready

  • All planning is accomplished by collaborating with research scientists, engineers and technologists

  • The technologies described here are high on ESTO’s investment priority list

  • For current information on investments and planning activities


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