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MODIS4NACP - MODIS Archive and Distribution System for NACP
The North American Carbon Program (NACP) is designed to provide the scientific underpinning to inform future policy decisions involving the carbon cycle, such as managing carbon sources and sinks by efficient and effective options to reduce emission or enhance carbon sinks (Wofsy and Harriss, 2002). Information from earth observing satellites plays a major role in providing spatial and temporal information required to address the carbon accounting sought by the NACP. The programs hopes to capitalize on the information gained from the current generation of satellite data. In particular, MODIS is expected to play a major role in regional and global analysis inherent to NACP.
However, current NASA-funded NACP investigators are experiencing significant challenges in their attempts to utilize MODIS data. Our discussions of this issue with these investigators have led to a strong interest in our approach that they feel with satisfy their needs. The “one-size-fits-all” tools that have been developed in the past do not address NACP investigators' particular needs. The tools provide a fraction of the functionality needed and there remains significant overhead involved with ingesting and processing MODIS data for a particular use. The additional effort required to process the MODIS products is often prohibitive. The result is that MODIS data are not currently serving to their full potential within the NACP.
Our strategy is to offer a wide range of processing capabilities to be applied to any of the MODIS land and atmosphere products for a focus group of NACP investigators. This would involve 5-10 investigators in year one. During this first year we will develop the capacity to provide these investigators with very specific products that precisely match their needs. In year two we will expand the number of users to ~30 while assessing which requests/tools are most common among users. Year three would then develop an operational capacity for the most requested and/or critical tools.
In addition to the NACP concerns, atmospheric researchers have also identified “gaps” in the data distribution process:
  1. parameter reprojection onto fixed grids as specified by the user including day-to-day time series on such grids;
  2. custom products that combine satellite parameters and simultaneous ancillary meteorological data such as wind fields;
  3. a menu of product and image formats that will allow common projections of data acquired from various sources; and finally
  4. a mechanism for machine-to-machine ordering that makes most web-based functionality available for scripted procedures.
The research community requires that EOS platforms provide regional time-dependent parameters as well as long-term global data for climate studies. Regional analyses like NACP are connecting atmospheric constituents (mainly greenhouse gases) with surface processes on the land and ocean. MODIS data are key to providing detailed spatial and temporal information about the surface condition and dynamics (Denning et al., 2004) as well as refining physical models of diverse phenomena such as aerosol/cloud interactions, radiative forcing and aerosol/chemical transport (Chin et al., 2004). We are proposing to address a major challenge for researchers, namely, acquiring EOS data at suitable spatial-temporal resolutions and in formats consistent with data integration into model studies

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