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USGS to Chair Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS)

October 31, 2016

Working together to advance international coordination of Earth observation programs

Dr. Frank Kelly, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (USGS EROS) Center, will assume the chairmanship of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) during the 30th CEOS Plenary this week in Brisbane, Australia.

CEOS is a long-established consortium of 31 CEOS Member organizations and  ​28 Associate Member organizations (with a total of 138 satellites) who work together to ensure international coordination of civil space-based Earth observation programs.

At the Brisbane Plenary, Dr. Kelly and USGS will seek support and consensus for the next steps on two critical initiatives.

One is the Future Data Architectures (FDA) Continuation — an initiative the current CEOS chair, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia — championed in 2016. The goal of this initiative is to promote compatible Analysis Ready Data (ARD) from multiple CEOS agencies and pursue time-series data cube architectures, similar to what USGS is doing with the Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) initiative. Time-series data are of significant value for monitoring and modeling long-term trends of global land surface changes.

The other initiative involves building a framework for Moderate Resolution Sensor Interoperability (primarily focused on the U.S. Landsat data and European Sentinel-2 data) in order to reach a higher level of coordination in such factors as radiometry, geometry, data formats, browse, metadata, data access, metrics, and reporting. As this initiative develops, additional interoperability opportunities will be pursued.

Additionally, the 30th Plenary will also provide direction for several CEOS thematic acquisition strategies, primarily observations on carbon (including forested regions), water, and disasters.

As the CEOS Chair, USGS will organize and chair the 31st CEOS Plenary scheduled for October 2017 in Rapid City, S.D.