NASA plans to establish a new Earth system observatory that could help inform efforts on climate change, disaster mitigation and forest fire response as well as support modernization of real-time agricultural processes.
The space agency said Tuesday that the observatory is aimed at providing a 3D view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere, using satellites designed to complement the others.
Sen. Bill Nelson, administrator of NASA, said information on the Earth’s changing climate over the last three decades is drawn from the space agency's satellite observations and research.
"NASA’s new Earth System Observatory will expand that work, providing the world with an unprecedented understanding of our Earth’s climate system, arming us with next-generation data critical to mitigating climate change, and protecting our communities in the face of natural disasters," he added.
The observatory will focus on several areas, including drought assessment and forecasting, aerosols' impact on global energy balance, surface deformation and change as well as air quality forecasting and severe weather prediction.
NASA has partnered with the Indian Space Research Organisation for two radar systems designed for providing a less-than-a-half-inch measurement of changes in Earth’s surface. The space agency has kicked off the observatory's formulation phase.