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Satellite observations of the Earth's environment

accelerating the transition of research to operations


This report addresses the transition of research satellites, instruments, and calculations into operational service for accurately observing and predicting the Earth's environment. These transitions, which take place in large part between NASA and NOAA, are important for maintaining the health, safety, and prosperity of the nation, and for achieving the vision of an Earth Information System in which quantitative information about the complete Earth system is readily available to myriad users. Many transitions have been ad hoc, sometimes taking several years or even decades to occur, and others have encountered roadblocks--lack of long-range planning, resources, institutional or cultural differences, for instance--and never reached fruition. "Satellite Observations of the Earth's Environment recommends new structures and methods that will allow seamless transitions from research to practice.

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