Future Intelligent Earth Observing Satellites

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This paper presents a simulated design of an envisioned future intelligent Earth observing satellite system (FIEOS). The proposed system is a space-based architecture for dynamic and comprehensive on-board integration of Earth observing sensors, data processors and communication systems. It is intended to enable simultaneous, global measurements and timely analyses of Earth’s environment for a variety of users. The implementation strategies suggest a seamless integration of diverse components into a smart, adaptable, and robust Earth observation satellite system. The simulated design envisions a system that uses instruments capable of providing earth science measurements to a degree of precision and span of coverage not currently available. Common users would access data directly in a manner similar to selecting a TV channel. The imagery viewed would most likely be obtained directly from the satellite system. Real-time information systems are key to solving the challenges associated with this architecture. Realization of such a technologically complex system will require the contributions of scientists and engineers from many disciplines. Hopefully, this concept will impact how Earth observing satellite scientists conduct missions in decades to come.


This paper was presented at the Pecora 15/Land Satellite Information IV/ISPRS Commission I/FIEOS Conference in 2002.

Peer Reviewed