Data Assimilation & Prediction

Evaluation of Small-Satellite Architectures to Address the Future Needs of the NOAA Enterprise and its Stakeholders

Project Period: September 1, 2018 to August 30, 2019
Principal Investigator(s): Chris Kummerow (CSU/CIRA) and Sid Boukabara (NOAA/NESDIS/StAR)

Investigator(s): Heather Cronk, Milija Zupanski, Ting-Chi Wu, Anton Kliewer, Phil Partain, Wes Berg, Steve Miller, Lewis Grasso, and Haidao Lin

Sponsor(s): National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


The goal of this research is to explore quick and agile methodologies to entrain small-satellites that have limited lifetimes into the NOAA processing stream.   The goal is to develop workflows that would allow NOAA, once it has identified an upcoming mission, to work with partners to ingest, calibrate, validate, and exploit these data in a minimum amount of time. The objective is twofold in that it would allow NOAA to better exploit upcoming constellations of very small satellites that have a very limited lifetime, as well as help NOAA assess the full utility of some small constellations of satellites being considered by the NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture (NSOSA) study team.  In order to exercise these methodologies, the project proposes to use a constellation of hyperspectral mid-wave IR sounders, a microwave humidity sounder from the TEMPEST-Demonstration radiometer to be launched in June 2018, and wind profiles from the European Space Agency’s ADM Aeolus sensor, to be launched in fall 2018. These three diverse examples of non-operational, short duration missions, are typical of what may become available and thus useful to define the workflows for future missions.