New NASA observatory takes 3D view of Earth


New NASA observatory takes 3D view of Earth

NASA has announced plans for Earth-focused missions to better understand the effects of climate change which includes improving agricultural processes. 

Director for NASA’s Earth Science Division Karen St. Germain tells Brownfield the new Earth System Observatory will include a series of five missions launching satellites to study different parts of the Earth’s systems.

“We are intentionally using the word observatory for a collection of missions because we want to view the entire earth’s system at once,” she says.

St. Germain uses Surface Biology and Geology mission as an example.

“Which will look down at the surface of the earth and really give us a lot of information about plants and crops and their state of health,” she explains.

She says data collected will help to better understand groundwater availability, root zone soil moisture, surface soil moisture, as well as crop and rangeland conditions.

“The data that we will get from these satellites will really help us convey how climate change is going to play out locally and regionally in terms of precipitation, drought, the temperature on the surface, and these sorts of things,” she says.

St. Germain says weather forecasts and precision data farmers are heavily reliant on many times starts with NASA and the Earth System Observatory is expected to be the next generation of satellite technology.