Coordination, Calibration and Algorithm Development of the Thermal Infrared Activities for the ESA Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) Mission and NASA Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) Designated Observable
The stated goal of NASA’s Earth Science Research Program is to utilize global measurements to understand the Earth system and its interactions as steps toward the prediction of Earth system behavior. NASA has identified the provision of well-calibrated, multiyear and multi-satellite data and product series as a key requirement for meeting this goal. Thermal infrared data (TIR: 7-12 μm) are widely used for a variety of critical long-term climate records such as Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity (LST&E) and Evapotranspiration (ET). NASA and ESA are currently developing new missions that will provide high spatial resolution (<100m), multispectral TIR data globally with a potential daily global revisit. These missions are the ESA Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) Mission and NASA Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) Designated Observable (DO). The SBG-DO includes a TIR measurement component henceforth referred to as SBG-TIR. The data from these missions will play a critical role in climate studies and provide key environmental measurements such as ET and drought stress indices. We will work with LSTM and SBG teams to maximize the usefulness of the TIR data and derived products. There are four main objectives for this work. First, coordinate the observing strategies and activities of LSTM and SBG-TIR. Second, implement precursor calibration and validation activities using existing networks and utilizing TIR data and products from the ESA Sentinel-3 Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) and NASA ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) missions and airborne instruments. Third, coordinate the Level 2 LST&E data product development for LSTM and SBG-TIR and develop joint products with uncertainties. Fourth, coordinate L3 ET data product development for LSTM and SBG-TIR and develop joint products with uncertainties. Objectives 3) and 4) will allow easy interchange of the products from LSTM and SBG-TIR for the development of long-term climate records. The first objective involves the PI serving on the ESA LSTM Mission Advisory Group (MAG) and SBG study team to ensure theobserving strategies and activities of both missions are coordinated. The second objective involves conducting joint NASA/ESAvalidation campaigns at existing sites using precursor data from SLSTR, ECOSTRESS and airborne data to prepare for the launch ofboth LSTM and SBG-TIR. Fully automated calibration and validation sites have been established at Lake Tahoe, CA/NV, and SaltonSea, CA. The sites are currently used for ECOSTRESS. The team have full access to the data from these sites. We would use thesesame sites for SLSTR and subsequently LSTM and SBG-TIR. The third and fourth objectives involve working with members of the LSTM and SBG teams responsible for the Level 2 LST&E and Level 3 ET algorithms and products, to make sure the products arefully characterized with appropriate uncertainties, and can be easily interchanged. LSTM and SBG-TIR represent the future of high spatial resolution multispectral TIR imaging (3+ bands in the TIR). The data from these instruments complements data from instruments such as ASTER, ECOSTRESS, Landsat, MODIS, SLSTR and VIIRS. By conducting these activities we will help enable the maximum science return from LSTM and SBG-TIR data, and also ensure backward compatibility with the existing data and products from the aforementioned complementary missions, in particular ECOSTRESS, which has the greatest similarity to the LSTM and SBG-TIR data and products. By undertaking these activities prior to launch, we will ensure a well-calibrated, multiyear, multi-satellite product series from LSTM and SBG-TIR data for use with similar complementary datasets to meet the stated goal of NASA.