1. Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program

Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program

Cover of the 2018 ESDS Highlights PDF.
2018 Program Highlights
NASA's Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) program oversees the life cycle of NASA’s Earth science data—from acquisition through processing and distribution. The primary goal of ESDS is to maximize the scientific return from NASA's missions and experiments for research and applied scientists, decision makers, and society at large.

ESDS data system and science products continuously evolve through a combination of competitive awards and sustained and strategic investments in open data, international and interagency partnerships, and a set of standards that ensure consistency and interoperability. Since 1994, Earth science data have been free and open to all users for any purpose, and since 2015, all data systems software developed through research and technology awards have been made available to the public as Open Source Software (OSS).

ESDS falls within the purview of the Earth Science Division (ESD), under the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.

Vision and Goals

Our vision is to make NASA's free and open Earth science data interactive, interoperable, and accessible for research and societal benefit both today and tomorrow.

Our responsibilities:

  • Process instrument data to create Earth System Data Records (ESDRs).
  • Actively manage NASA’s Earth science data as a national asset.
  • Uphold NASA’s policy of free, full, and open sharing of all data, tools, and ancillary information for all users.
  • Engage members of the Earth science community in the evolution of data systems.
  • Develop data system capabilities optimized to support rigorous science investigations and the unique needs of various scientific disciplines.

Our goals:

  • Set the standard for the archival and delivery of science-quality data related to planet Earth.
  • Provide consistent, harmonized services for data, metadata, and services to facilitate interdisciplinary Earth science investigations.
  • Ensure data is documented precisely and fully, and access to data and services are useful and usable by a wide community of users.
  • Improve data system capabilities through continuous evolution and community engagement.

ESDS aligns with Goal 1 of NASA's 2018 Strategic Plan, particularly to Objective 1.1 "Understand the Sun, Earth, Solar System, and Universe." The ESDS program primarily accomplishes this goal via NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), which has provided end-to-end capabilities for managing NASA’s Earth science data since 1994.

Program Components

ESDS works to achieve its goals by means of several component projects, programs, and partnerships:

The Data System Evolution (DSE) element of ESDS funds various research opportunities, as well as interagency initiatives and the promotion of data and service interoperability through development and implementation of standards. DSE is composed of support for the Interagency Implementation and Advance Concepts Team (IMPACT) activity, competitive programs, and the development of long-term data records needed by NASA scientists.

  • Competitive programs
    Competitive programs focus on the development of new Earth science data products and innovative technology. Current programs include: Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS), Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program (CSESP), and Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs).
  • Earth Science Data Systems Geographic Information Systems Team (EGIST)
    NASA's EGIST was created to enable the appropriate use and adoption of geographic information system (GIS) technology in support of Earth science research and applied science for EOSDIS data.
  • Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT)
    IMPACT builds partnerships with other Federal agencies, the applications community, decision makers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other organizations to encourage the adoption of NASA Earth observation data into workflows and operational models.
  • Sea Level Change Portal
    Science portals comprehensively address and communicate information about a specific topic in collaboration with research and analysis programs. The first of these, the Sea Level Change Portal, addresses the topic of sea level rise.

The Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project manages the operations of EOSDIS, including Science Investigator-led Processing Systems (SIPS), Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), and Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE).

Earth Science Data System Working Groups (ESDSWG)
ESDSWG focuses on the exploration and development of recommendations derived from pertinent community insights of NASA's heterogeneous and distributed Earth science data systems.

Small Satellite Commercial Data Buy Program
The overall objective of the product pilot is to identify private sector data vendors and purchase from them Earth science data products to complement NASA data holdings.

Standards and Interoperability Coordination and Development
ESDS promotes data and service interoperability through development and implementation of standards.

Learn more about ESDS program components.

Last Updated: May 14, 2019 at 10:51 AM EDT