The Land, Atmosphere Near-Real-Time Capability For EOS (LANCE)

The past decade has seen a rapid increase in availability and usage of near-real-time data from satellite sensors. The EOSDIS ( Data and Information System) was not originally designed to provide data with sufficiently low latency to satisfy the requirements for near-real-time users. The EOS (Earth Observing System) instruments aboard the Terra, Aqua and Aura satellites make global measurements daily, which are processed into higher-level “standard” products within 8-40 hours of observation and then made available to users, primarily earth science researchers.

In 2002, a joint initiative between NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and the DOD (Department of Defense) was undertaken to provide data from EOS instruments in near-real-time. The NRTPE (Near Real Time Processing Effort) provided products within 3 hours of observation on a best-effort basis. As the popularity of these near-real-time products and applications grew, multiple near-real-time systems began to spring up such as the Rapid Response System. In recognizing the dependence of customers on this data and the need for highly reliable and timely data access, NASA’s Earth Science Division sponsored the Earth Science Data and Information System Project (ESDIS)-led development of a new near-real-time system called LANCE (Land, Atmosphere Near-Real-Time Capability for EOS) in 2009. LANCE consists of special processing elements, co-located with selected EOSDIS data centers and processing facilities. A primary goal of LANCE is to bring multiple near-real-time systems under one umbrella, offering commonality in data access, quality control, and latency.

LANCE now processes and distributes data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer – Earth Observing System (AMSR-E), Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) instruments within 3 hours of satellite observation. The Rapid Response System and the Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) capabilities will be incorporated into LANCE in 2011. LANCE maintains a central website to facilitate easy access to data and user services. LANCE products are extensively tested and compared with science products before being made available to users. Each element also plans to implement redundant network, power and server infrastructure to ensure high availability of data and services. Through the user registration system, users are informed of any data outages and when new products or services will be available for access.

Published by: Earthzine on February, 22 2011

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