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GCN : August and September 2016
EOL.JSC.NASA.GOV BY PATRICK MARSHALL EMERGING TECH NASA’S DATA AND RE- SEARCH have informed the climate change discussion for decades, but the agency also has its own interests to consider. Many of its facilities and much of its infrastructure are in coastal areas, and NASA faces hard decisions about dealing with the possibility of increased flooding events near the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To help prepare for the challenges climate change will present, the agency has asked its Climate Adapta- tion Science Investigators (CASI) Workgroup to gather data and build tools that will help NASA facility managers and planners ensure sustainability. The CASI initiative brings Earth scientists together with facility managers, emergency management staff, natural resources managers and workforce specialists at each NASA center to discuss manage- ment of climate risks and resilience. The data being collected and integrated by the CASI team is impressive and includes multispectral and hyperspectral imaging and LIDAR datasets from NASA Earth observation satellites (including the International Space Station), airborne sensors and digital photo- graphs taken by astronauts. Specifically, the geodata- base includes: • Astronaut photography from 1969 to 2015. • Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer data from 2001 to 2013. • Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Oceans data from 2010 to 2014. • Landsat sensor series data from 1972 to 2014. • National Agriculture Imagery Program data for selected counties from 2004 to 2012. • Very high-resolution aerial imagery for the main John- son Space Center campus collected in 2007. According to NASA GIS specialist Amy Jagge, the focus is primarily on devel- oping imagery and analytic capabilities for Johnson Space Center facilities in the Clear Lake area of Houston. But the team has broader goals. “While the focus of CASI is on the federal facili- ties, we decided to build a historical database of remotely sensed data that includes not only [John- son Space Center], but the entire Houston/Galveston metropolitan area, includ- ing the whole of Galveston Bay,” Jagge said. “The intent was to create a regional database that...would be publicly available to sup- port collaborations with other agencies, academia, [nongovernmental organiza- tions], etc.” The assemblage of his- torical imagery and data means that GIS specialists will be able to run time- series analyses of changes in vegetation, land use/ land cover and land surface temperatures. “Once our geodatabase is stored within the [Esri] ArcGIS for Server repository, then the individual mosaic datasets within the geoda- tabase can be published as image services with raster functions,” Jagge said. Then a web mapping application can perform image process- ing and analytical functions. Jagge said she expects the web mapping tool, which has not yet been finalized, to process data on the fly for the Normalized Differ- ence Vegetation Index, an indicator that is used to assess the type and health of vegetation. The tool is also expected to have an embed- ded slider that will allow an analyst to view historical imagery side by side and see changes in biomass, surface temperature and inundation zones during flooding. Once the mapping appli- cation is finalized, the team plans to integrate it with NASA’s GIS Portal. • NASA tracks climate change in its own backyard NASA’s regional remote sensing program uses geostationary satellite imagery to conduct research on localized climate change in the Clear Lake area of Houston. GCN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 • GCN.COM 27 0916gcn_027.indd 27 8/30/16 9:45 AM
June and July 2016
October and November 2016