CCE banner
Data & Information Systems

Information Systems  [2007 Science Plan p. 68]

With its focus on observations, NASA Earth science research depends on advanced data systems to acquire measurements, produce data products, provide active archives, and distribute data to research investigators. The Earth Science Data and Information Project provides scientific users, as well as a large and diverse general user community, with access to NASA's Earth science data, primarily through the EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS). EOSDIS was developed as an end-to-end system, including command and control of satellites, management of data from satellites and field measurement programs, active archive, distribution, and information management. EOSDIS has been operating since 1999, and has evolved to incorporate emerging technology and changing research needs. Currently, NASA Earth observing satellites provide about 500 Gbytes/day (500 x109 bytes/day) of instrument data from space, producing approximately 3 Tbytes/day (3 x1012 bytes/ day) of data products. Each year, NASA's space assets contribute about 1.2 Pbytes (1.2 x1015 bytes) of data to Earth science research. This enormous data stream is the primary resource for Earth science research with NASA and fuels a broad range of research, application, management, and decision activities worldwide. NASA manages these data with its user communities' advice, deleting or moving to lower levels of service products no longer considered useful or where more accurate observations become available.

Currently managing more than 2,800 data sets and distributing data to more than 185,000 users, EOSDIS continues to serve as the primary active archive and distribution system infrastructure for Earth observations obtained by NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), representing core Earth science disciplines, process, archive, and distribute NASA Earth observation data. Many science data products are produced on Science Investigator-led Processing Systems under the direct control of instrument teams while a few use the science data processing systems within the DAACs. In either case, the algorithms and quality assurance are provided by instrument teams. NASA's strategy is to continue to evolve and streamline this core infrastructure, while adding competed and peer-reviewed innovative elements needed to fully develop and access Earth science data records needed to answer the science questions.

For information on how to find NASA Earth System Science data, please visit EarthData at

back to top