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Global Agricultural Monitoring: Transitioning NPP VIIRS Observations into the USDA FAS Decision Support System

NPP VIIRS Observations
Project Description

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is a global agricultural monitoring system, providing critical information on global crop production in the context of global markets and food security. Since the 1970's, NASA and the USDA have been working together to develop the capability to monitor global agriculture with satellite remote sensing. Recently, the NASA Science Applications Program, through support of the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GLAM) project, has successfully transitioned MODIS data into the operational Decision Support Systems (DSS) of the FAS, replacing the AVHRR as the primary source of global satellite observations. The FAS system requires a well characterized, long time-series of measurements, sufficient to assess the development of crops and compare growing conditions to previous years. The NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) was planned to provide data continuity with MODIS, providing risk reduction and a bridge to the NPOESS era satellites. This proposal's primary objective is to continue NASA's role of transitioning NASA satellite data from research to operations by preparing NPP VIIRS data for inclusion in the operational FAS DSS. Our approach will be to replicate the current MODIS FAS capabilities with the VIIRS.

The project will be carried out under the following tasks:

  1. Evaluation of the VIIRS instrument performance and EDR?s according to the FAS needs, as currently met by MODIS;
  2. Reproduction of the functionality of the current MODIS FAS DSS for VIIRS, including an online Graphical User Interface and data analysis tools;
  3. Inter-comparison of the VIIRS and MODIS data products in the post-launch period, with the aim of assessing VIIRS continuity with the FAS MODIS data record;
  4. Evaluation of the VIIRS GUI, analysis tools, data products and provisional data flows from the GSFC Land PEATE by FAS crop analysts;
  5. Scoping the transition of the VIIRS data flow into the operational FAS processing system, located at GSFC;
  6. (6) participation in the various functions of the NASA VIIRS Science Team, including representation of FAS requirements with respect to the VIIRS instruments and data products and the future Joint Polar Satellite Systems.