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Information Quality
Image of the Von Karman Vortices.

decorative symbol Process

Baseline Considerations for Land Imaging

  • Continuity of the U.S. Landsat Data Record must be maintained
  • Capabilities must meet or exceed current capabilities of Landsat (Landsat imagery cannot currently be replicated using any existing U.S. or international satellite system)
  • But Landsat will not constrain future Land Imaging capabilities
  • Examine alternatives to meet the minimal Landsat Data Continuity Standard plus additional U.S. needs for land imaging
    • Greater spatial or spectral resolution
    • Greater frequency of coverage and "steerable" imaging
    • Multi-purpose Imaging Systems (Radar, Radar hybrids, Hyperspectral)

Needs Analysis - What are the Societal Benefits?

The Future of Land Imaging Working Group will inventory and assess the societal benefits of land imaging and how they can best be met.

Societal Benefits are a core feature of U.S. and International Earth Observation Initiatives - IEOS and GEOSS

  • Weather
  • Natural Disasters
  • Ocean Resources
  • Climate Variability and Change
  • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Human Health and Well-Being
    • Ecological Forecasting
    • Water Resource Management
    • Energy Resource Management

There are other Societal Benefits of land imaging not captured by IEOS and GEOSS that are important to U.S. interests

  • Land Use Planning and Management
  • Public Lands Conservation / Management
  • Homeland / National Security Operations
  • Transportation Planning / Management
    • Property Valuation
    • Flood Plain Assessment
    • Foreign Agricultural Assessment
    • Infrastructure Planning / Management

The Vitality and Competitiveness of the U.S. Aerospace Industry is also a Primary Consideration

Options for Meeting U.S. Land Imaging Needs

Government-Owned Satellite The U.S. Government owns and operates a U.S. satellite and maintains an archive and distribution capability.
Public-Private Partnership The U.S. Government shares responsibility with the private sector. Costs are shared in proportion to the value of the data.
International Partnership The U.S. Government shares capabilities and data with foreign partners.
Commercial Program The U.S. acquires all data from the private sector which retains rights to U.S. Land Imaging data.
A Combination of Options A primary solution may be complemented or supplemented by a secondary solution.

Criteria for Selection of Land Imaging Option

  • Societal benefits must be supported through
    • Synoptic global coverage
    • Appropriate revisit time
    • Appropriate spatial resolution
    • Appropriate spectral characteristics and resolution
    • Sufficient calibration of spectral and spatial components
  • Must support long term data quality requirements
  • Must support U.S. data archive and management policies
  • Must support societal benefits through existing and evolving applications
  • Must support national / homeland security needs and provide data security
  • Must provide flexibility for implementation, data acquisition, and sustain or improve capability

Governance Options

Single Agency A single U.S. Federal Agency is responsible for all aspects of Land Imaging.
Multiple Agency Two or more Federal Agencies share responsibility for all aspects of Land Imaging.
Integrated Program Office An IPO reporting to multiple Federal Agencies is responsible for all aspects of Land Imaging.
U.S. National Commission A U.S. National Commission manages the U.S. Land Imaging Program, assigning responsibility for Land Imaging.
No U.S. Government Manager The U.S. acquires all Land Imaging data commercially or from international sources. No U.S. Federal Agency is assigned responsibility.

Criteria for Selection of Governance Option

  • Clear and consistent U.S. agency roles and responsibilities
  • Scientific, technical, and managerial leadership in the U.S. and global communities
  • Reduced management complexity
  • Accountability to users
  • Effective and efficient requirements management
  • Streamlined acquisition and low cost management of data
  • Financial / budgetary stability
  • Flexibility to acquire future data from the best available sources
  • Alignment with U.S. scientific, operational, security, and international policies and interests
National Science and Technology Council. United States Group on Earth Observations. Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources
National Science and Technology Council. United States Group on Earth Observations. Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources

Last Modified:04/26/06
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