The Science of TERRA, AQUA, and SUOMI NPP (ROSES 2017)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA’s Earth Science Research Program aims to utilize global measurements to understand the Earth system and interactions among its components as steps toward prediction of Earth system behavior. To achieve this goal, a combination of shorter-term process-oriented measurements is complemented by longer-term satellite measurements of certain environmental properties. A key requirement for the latter is the provision of well-calibrated, multi-year and multi-satellite data and product series. 

The Earth Observing System (EOS) was intended to provide global observations needed to advance Earth System Science and to initiate a number of improved longterm global data sets. NASA has completed the development and implementation of the EOS satellites, and successfully operates a comprehensive EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS) to acquire, process, archive, and distribute these observations and data products ( Among the EOS satellites that were most critical in initiating new, high quality long-term Earth system data records were the Terra and Aqua satellites, launched in 1999 and 2002, respectively. 

The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP, formerly the NPOESS Preparatory Project) satellite was launched on October 28, 2011, to extend more than 30 high-quality time series data records initiated by earlier NASA satellites (most notably Terra and Aqua, but also Aura, launched in 2004). Its observations should allow scientists to extend a continuous record of satellite data of sufficient quality to detect and quantify global environmental changes. For example, Suomi NPP continues measurements of land surface vegetation, sea surface temperature, and atmospheric ozone that began more than 25 years ago with earlier satellites and which were enhanced with the new instrumentation aboard the EOS satellites. The NASA time series of global observations is continued for certain data records by the on-orbit Suomi NPP program sensors (

Suomi NPP serves as a bridge between NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) of satellites and the next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program that will collect data for both weather and climate. NASA is bridging the mission capabilities to continue a set of the Earth System Data Records begun with the EOS missions using the Suomi NPP mission data.

This program element defines and calls for the future work of an integrated NASA EOS (including but not limited to Terra and Aqua) and Suomi NPP ST. All collective instrument, mission, and measurement STs should direct their attention to developing the refined and/or alternative data products needed to ensure high-quality data records for Earth system science and applications that enable continuity with EOS data products. Thus, the primary data product-related activities of the EOS (Terra and Aqua) and NASA Suomi NPP ST solicited under this ROSES program element will continue the work of the Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP ST members solicited and selected under past ROSES program elements. In addition, NASA will continue applications-relevant Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP research under this program element. It is unlikely that NASA will have sufficient resources to support the development of all worthwhile Terra, Aqua and Suomi NPP data products; therefore, meritorious proposals offering data products that extend the traditional, standard EOS time series data products (see Section 6.0 for the list of relevant EOS standard products) will be accorded priority. If resources permit and scientific priority is clearly established in a meritorious proposal, NASA plans to support, as a secondary priority, research to develop and/or advance new Suomi NPP data products in support of NASA relevant research. 


  • NOIs Due: Jun. 19, 2017
  • Proposals Due: Aug. 17, 2017





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

August 17, 2017