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Research Project: Ecohydrological Processes, Scale, Climate Variability, and Watershed Management

Location: Southwest Watershed Research Center

Title: Connecting NASA science and engineering with earth science applications

Author
item Moran, Mary
item Doorn, B. - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item Escobar, V. - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item Brown, M. - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)

Submitted to: Journal of Hydrometeorology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2014
Publication Date: 2/1/2015
Citation: Moran, M.S., Doorn, B., Escobar, V., Brown, M. 2015. Connecting NASA science and engineering with earth science applications. Journal of Hydrometeorology. 16:473-483. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-14-0093.1.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-14-0093.1

Interpretive Summary: NASA will launch a new satellite on November 5, 2014 – the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission – which will provide global measurements of soil moisture for weather prediction, drought and flood forecasting, agricultural management, and national security. The SMAP Project has taken extraordinary steps to include potential users in SMAP mission planning. The result has been an unprecedented pre-launch preparation for SMAP applications and critical feedback to improve the mission. The results presented in this Editorial provide direction for upcoming NASA missions and set some context for the future of Earth observation.

Technical Abstract: The National Research Council (NRC) recently highlighted the dual role of NASA to support both science and applications in planning Earth observations. This Editorial reports the efforts of the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to integrate applications with science and engineering in pre-launch planning. The SMAP Early Adopter Program supported the pre-launch applied research that is published here in the Special Collection of J. Hydrometeorology. This research, in turn, has resulted in unprecedented pre-launch preparation for SMAP applications, and critical feedback to the mission to improve product specifications and distribution for post-launch applications. These efforts have been a learning experience that should provide direction for upcoming missions, and set some context for the next NRC Decadal Survey.