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EOS - Astronomy Glossary
Category: Earth and Environment > meteorology and astronomy
Date & country: 13/09/2007, USA
Words: 194

Active Data Base Site
A general designation for a site where data are being used actively in research and from which those data and resident expertise may be obtained.

Active Long Term Archive (Alta)
A facility that provides permanent active archive functions for EOSDIS Archived Holdings (see below) during and beyond the scope of the EOS mission, receiving responsibility for these holdings and providing long-term access to users. An ALTA is funded independently of the EOS budget. ALTAs include the NASA/National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC), the USGS/Earth Resources Observation System (EROS) data center, and the NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS…

A gaseous suspension of fine particles.

Affiliated Data Center (Adc)
A facility not funded by NASA that processes, archives, and distributes Earth science data useful for Global Change research, with which a working agreement has been negotiated by the EOS Program. The agreement provides for the establishment of the degree of connectivity and interoperability between EOSDIS and the ADC needed to meet the specific data access requirements involved in a manner consistent and compatible with EOSDIS services. Such data-related services to be provided to EOSDIS by the…

Affiliated User

The act or process of establishing a forest, especially on land not previously forested.

The fraction of the total solar radiation incident on a body that is reflected by it.

(1) Software delivered to the SDPS by a science investigator (PI, TL, or II) to be used as the primary tool in the generation of science products. The term includes executable code, source code, job control scripts, as well as documentation. (2) A prescription for the calculation of a quantity; used in Earth system science to derive physical or biological properties from observations and to facilitate calculation of state variables in models. Source: ECS.

Ancillary Data
Data other than instrument data required to perform an instrument's data processing. They include orbit data, attitude data, time information, spacecraft engineering data, calibration data, data quality information, and data from other instruments.

Archived Holdings
All EOS and non-EOS data and data products, as well as supporting information, that are archived by EOSDIS. This includes models, algorithms, documentation, and level 0 data or higher level data products from which level 0 may be recovered.

The envelope of gases surrounding the Earth and bound to it by the Earth's gravitational attraction. Studies of the chemical and radiative properties, dynamic motions, and physical processes of this system constitute the field of meteorology.

The orientation of the sensor along with information about the accuracy and precision with which this orientation is known. This data is required to perform proper calibration of instrument data. The attitude is usually stored in Euler angle or quaternion form and may be 1) calculated by the on-board computer and telemetered to the ground or 2) calculated by ground processing facilities (e.g. GSFC Flight Dynamics Facility) using a variety of attitude sensor data.

Attitude Sensor Data
Attitude sensor data is that subset of the telemetry data that is used to determine the pointing of the spacecraft axes, calibration and alignment data, Euler angles or quaternions, rates and biases, and associated parameters.

Authorized User

Biological Productivity
The amount of organic matter, carbon, or energy content that is accumulated during a given time period.

The total dry organic matter or stored energy content of living organisms that is present at a specific time in a defined unit (community, ecosystem, crop, etc.) of the Earth's surface.

The portion of Earth and its atmosphere that can support life. The part (reservoir) of the global carbon cycle that includes living organisms (plants and animals) and life-derived organic matter (litter, detritus). The terrestrial biosphere in-cludes the living biota (plants and animals) and the litter and soil organic matter on land; the marine biosphere includes the biota and detritus in the oceans.

A representation of a dataset or data granule used to pre-screen data as an aid to selection prior to ordering. A data set, typically of limited size and resolution, created to rapidly provide an understanding of the type and quality of available full resolution data sets. It may also enable the selection of intervals for further processing or analysis of physical events. For example, a browse image might be a reduced resolution version of a single channel from a multi-channel instrument. Note: …

Browse Data Product
Subsets of a larger data set, other than the directory and guide, generated for the purpose of allowing rapid interrogation (i.e., browse ) of the larger data set by a potential user. For example, the browse product for an image data set with multiple spectral bands and moderate spatial resolution might be an image in two spectral channels, at a degraded spatial resolution. The form of browse data is generally unique for each type of data set and depends on the nature of the data and the criteri…

1) The activities involved in adjusting an instrument to be intrinsically accurate, either before or after launch (i.e., 'instrument calibration). 2) The process of collecting instrument characterization information (scale, offset, nonlinearity, operational, and environmental effects), using either laboratory standards, field standards, or modeling, which is used to interpret instrument measurements (i.e., 'data calibration').

Calibration Data
The collection of data required to perform calibration of the instrument science and engineering data, and the spacecraft or platform engineering data. It includes pre-flight calibrator measurements, calibration equation coefficients derived from calibration software routines, and ground truth data that are to be used in the data calibration processing routine. Source: ECS.

Captive Account
A guest's user account in a computer system for any user to access without special procedures (such as registration). The account puts the user directly into an application, without access to the rest of the system on which the application is hosted.

Carbon Cycle
All parts (reservoirs) and fluxes of carbon; usually thought of as a series of the four main reservoirs of carbon interconnected by pathways of exchange. The four reservoirs regions of the Earth in which carbon behaves in a systematic manner are the atmosphere, terrestrial biosphere (usually includes freshwater systems), oceans, and sediments (includes fossil fuels). Each of these global reservoirs may be subdivided into smaller pools ranging in size from individual communities or ecosystems to …

Catalog Interoperability
Refers to the capability of the user interface software of one data set directory or catalog to interact with another data set directory or catalog.

Catalog Service
A set of information, consisting of some or all of directory, guide, and inventories, combined with a mechanism to provide responses to queries, possibly including ordering data.

Catalog System
An implementation of a directory, plus a guide and/or inventories, integrated with user support mechanisms that provide data access and answers to inquires. Capabilities may include browsing, data searches, and placing and taking orders. A specific implementation of a catalog service.

A family of inert, nontoxic, and easily liquefied chemicals used in refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, and insulation, or as solvents or aerosol propellants. Because they are not destroyed in the lower atmosphere, they drift into the upper atmosphere, where, given suitable conditions, their chlorine components destroy ozone.

The statistical collection and representation of the weather conditions for a specified area during a specified time interval, usually decades, together with a description of the state of the external system or boundary conditions. The properties that characterize the climate are thermal (temperatures of the surface air, water, land, and ice), kinetic (wind and ocean currents, together with associated vertical motions and the motions of air masses, humidity, cloudiness and cloud water content, g…

Climate Change
The long-term fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, wind, and all other aspects of the Earth's climate. External processes, such as solar- irradiance variations, variations of the EarthUs orbital parameters (eccentricity, precession, and inclination), lithosphere motions, and volcanic activity, are factors in climatic variation. Internal variations of the climate system, e.g., changes in the abundance of greenhouse gases, also may produce fluctuations of sufficient magnitude and variabilit…

A visible mass of condensed water vapor particles or ice suspended above the Earth's surface. Clouds may be classified by their visual appearance, height, or form.

Cloud Albedo
Reflectivity that varies from less than 10 to more than 90 percent of the insolation and depends on drop sizes, liquid water content, water vapor content, thickness of the cloud, and the sun's zenith angle. The smaller the drops and the greater the liquid water content, the greater the cloud albedo, if all other factors are the same.

Cloud Feedback
The coupling between cloud-iness and surface air temperature in which a change in surface temperature could lead to a change in clouds, which could then amplify or diminish the initial temperature perturbation. For example, an increase in surface air temperature could increase the evaporation; this in turn might increase the extent of cloud cover. Increased cloud cover would reduce the solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface, thereby lowering the surface temperature. This is an example of n…

An individual selected by the Principal Investigator who typically provides support in preparing the proposal and who has specific responsibilities in the development, operations, or analysis phases of the investigation.

Process of scheduling and issuing instructions for actions to be carried out by a space-based instrument or spacecraft.

Commercial Instrument
An instrument developed and operated by a private organization whose data are sold commercially to the general user community.

Commercial Off-The-Shelf (Cots)
Commercial off-the-shelf means a product, such as an item,material, software, component, subsystem, or system, sold or traded to the general public in the course of normal business operations at prices based on established catalog or market prices (see FAR 15.804-3(c) for explanation of terms).

Community Consensus Algorithm
The current global algorithm or spatial mosaic of algorithms for a Pathfinder data product, as agreed upon by a Pathfinder Science Working Group.

Refers to adjusting for measurement effects external to the instrument (e.g., surface color compensation for atmospheric propagation). Interpretation. Refers to applying the correlation between a sensed physical parameter and a related phenomenon (e.g., ocean color interpretation for phyto-plankton concentration).

Continuous Operation
The ability to support continuous data collection by the reliable, repetitive, systematic observation of the Earth fea-tures appropriate to the measurement being made. For EOS, continuous operation will allow the entire globe to be monitored not less than once on the day side and once on the night side every 16 days.

The functions performed at a ground control center to operate space-based instruments, in conjunction with commanding.

The central portion of the Earth, at a depth of approximately 2900 km. The core has a molten metallic composition.

Refers to using instrument characterization information to improve the accuracy of instrument data products (e. g., image correction for geometric distortion).

Correlative Data
Scientific data from other sources used in the interpretation or validation of instrument data products, e.g. ground truth data and/or data products of other instruments. These data are not utilized for processing instrument data.

Coverage Map
The footprint coverage of a remote sensing sensor projected on a surface (i.e. A graphical representation of the coverage of data or a granule located on the Earth.

The representative forms of information, including facts, concepts, rules, or any other kind of knowledge.

Data Archive
A facility providing indefinitely long storage, preservation, disposition, and distribution of data sets and associated metadata.

Data Center
(1) An institutionally supported facility providing convenient access to, manipulation of, and/or distribution of data sets (including supporting information and expertise) for a wide community of users. It has a long term charter (not tied to the lifetime of a specific project). A data center can create Special Data Products when needed. (2) A facility storing, maintaining, and making available data sets for expected use in ongoing and/or future activities. Data centers provide selection and re…

Data Dictionary
A data dictionary is a repository of descriptive information about data. Data dictionary information includes database elements and valid values used to describe datasets.

Data Items(S)
Value(s) of a measured or derived parameter, implicitly or explicitly accompanied by an identification of the points in independent variable space where the value(s) applies (e.g., x,y,z,t;a,b,c).

Data Product
A collection (1 or more) of parameters packaged with associated ancillary and labeling data. Uniformly processed and formatted. Typically uniform temporal and spatial resolution. (Often the collection of data distributed by a data center or subsetted by a data center for distribution.)

Data Product Level
Data levels 1 through 4 as designated in the Product Type and Processing Level

Data Product Level 0
Raw instrument data at original resolution, time ordered, with duplicate packets removed.

Data Product Level 1A
Reconstructed unprocessed instrument data at full resolution, time referenced, and annotated with ancillary information, including radiometric and geometric calibration coefficients and georeferencing parameters (i.e., platform ephemeris) computed and appended, but not applied to Level 0 data.

Data Product Level 1B
Radiometrically corrected and geolocated Level 1A data that have been processed to sensor units.

Data Product Level 2
Derived geophysical parameters at the same resolution and location as the Level 1 data.

Data Product Level 3
Geophysical parameters that have been spacially and/or temporally re-sampled (i.e., derived from Level 1 or Level 2 data).

Data Product Level 4
Model output and/or results of lower level data that are not directly derived by the instruments.

Data Rights
An agreement between the funding agent, the project, and the investigation team whereby the team is accorded exclusive use of data for a limited period of time.

Data Set
A logically meaningful grouping or collection of similar or related data. Data having mostly similar characteristics (source or class of source, processing level and algorithms, etc.)

Data Set Catalog

Data Set Directory

Data Set Documentation
Information describing the characteristics of a data set and its com-ponent granules, including format, source instrumentation, calibration, processing, algorithms, etc.

Data User Guide
A document, either on-line or hardcopy, containing the necessary information for the correct usage of the data.

(1) A collection of data sets with supporting metadata related to a system, project or facility. (2) A collection of integrated data serviced by a Data Base Management System (DBMS); often organized for quick search and retrieval. Source: ESAD.

Deep Space Network (Dsn)
The network of NASA ground stations normally used to communicate with deep space probes or high-altitude satellites. The DSN can provide backup communications with low Earth-orbiting satellites.

The removal of forest stands by cutting and burning to provide land for agricultural purposes, residential or industrial building sites, roads, etc., or by harvesting the trees for build-ing materials or fuel. Oxidation of organic matter releases CO2 to the atmosphere, and regional and global impacts may result.

(1) A collection of uniform descriptions that summarize the contents of a large number of data sets. It provides information suitable for making an initial determination of the existence and contents of each data set. Each directory entry contains brief data set information (e.g., type of data, data set name, time and location bounds). (2) A uniform set of description of a class or classes of entities (e.g., data sets, data sources, Guides) with pointers to more details and to the entities thems…

Directory Service
A directory, possibly supplemented with other kinds of information, combined with a mechanism to provide responses to queries.

Directory System
A specific implementation of a directory service.

A field of study (e.g., oceanography, meteorology, geology, land biology).


Dynamic Browse
Refers to the generation of a browse product, including subsetting and/or resampling of data, by command of the user engaged in the browse activity. The browse data set is built in real-time, or near-real-time, as part of the browse activity.

Dynamic Valids
The logical and valid combinations of keywords formed from various categories of valids (e.g. source, sensor, parameter) that can be used to express a valid query. The subset of the valids for a particular keyword which remain applicable given previously entered criteria. For example, once a platform has been entered, only the sensors which were actually on that platform would be valid for entry.

Eos Data Products
Three primary categories of EOS mission data products that will be provided by EOSDIS have been defined.

Eos Operations Center (Eoc)
The facility responsible for EOS mission operations, including command and control of EOS spacecraft, mission planning and scheduling, and coordination of EOS instrument planning and scheduling. All commands for EOS spacecraft and instruments go through the EOC for integration and validation before transmission to space.

Eos Program
The activity that provides the long-term observations and the supporting information system necessary to develop a comprehensive understanding of the way the Earth functions as a natural system. The EOS Program Office and the EOS Project are included in the EOS Program.

Eos Program Director
The NASA Headquarters official who is the focal point for all Headquarters activities bearing on the EOS Program.

Eos Program Office
The EOS Program Director and his staff. The EOS Program Office is located at NASA Headquarters.

Eos Program Scientist
The NASA Headquarters official assigned to the EOS mission. The roles and responsibilities of this function are defined in NMI 7100.11, Attachment D. One of them is to establish the policies for the analysis, dissemination, and archiving of data for the mission.

Eos Project
The EOS Project Manager, his staff, and all other participants in the EOS Program who are located at GSFC.

Eos Project Manager
The GSFC official who has overall responsibility for executing to completion the design, development, test and operation of the EOS Program within a given set of boundary conditions (technical, cost, schedule, and organization approach). The senior individuals in subordinate installations may also be titled Project Managers, but they are responsible to the GSFC Project Manager.

Eos Project Scientist
The NASA field center or U.S. academic institution scientist assigned to the EOS mission to manage its scientific aspects.

Eos Prototype Data Products
Generated as part of a research investigation, of wide research utility, requiring too much data or computer power for generation at the investigator SCF, and accepted as a candidate Standard Data Product by the IWG. Prototype Data Products will be generated at DAACs, but their routine generation is not guaranteed and will not interfere with Standard Data Product generation.

Eos Special Data Products
Generated as part of a research investigation using EOS data and produced for a limited region or time period, or products that are not accepted as standard by the IWG and NASA Headquarters. They will be generated at research users' computer facilities.

Eos Standard Data Products
Generated as part of a research investigation, of wide research utility, accepted by the IWG and the EOS Program Office, routinely produced, and, in general, spatially and/or temporally extensive data products. Standard Level 1 data products will be generated for all EOS instruments; standard Level 2 data products will be generated for most EOS instruments. Some EOS interdisciplinary investigations will also generate standard data products.

A tabular statement of the spatial coordinates of a celestial body or a spacecraft as a function of time.

Essential Data Product
A data product that has major significance to the EOS Program and its science users. The EOS Program considers successful production of such data products essential and will use such production as a measure of performance.

Facility Instrument
An instrument defined by NASA as having broad significance to the EOS Program that is provided by a designated NASA center or foreign agency.

Feedback Mechanisms
A sequence of inter-actions in which the final interaction influences the original one.

Flight Hardware
All active mission hardware in orbit about the Earth. For EOS, flight hardware includes all EOS spacecraft and EOS instruments on International Platforms and other spacecraft.

Forward Link Data
Instrument control and spacecraft control data.

Fossil Fuel
Any hydrocarbon deposit that can be burned for heat or power, such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas.

Modifier which can denote total or nearly total coverage of the Earth, land, ocean or both. Global can also be a qualifier to describe the distribution of a particular phenomenon over the earth although coverage isn't literally global. E.g. Global land would be all land over the earth but land certainly doesn't entirely cover the globe.

The smallest aggregation of data which is independently managed (i,e., described, inventoried, retrievable). Granules may be managed as logical granules and/or physical granules.

Greenhouse Gases
Those gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, tropospheric ozone, nitrous oxide, methane, and CFCs, that are largely transparent to solar radiation but opaque to outgoing longwave radiation. Their action is similar to that of glass in a greenhouse. Some of the longwave (infrared) radiation is absorbed and reemitted by the greenhouse gases. The effect of this is to warm the surface and the lower atmosphere of the earth.

Ground Network
The network of ground stations that support near-Earth spacecraft primarily in the launch or early mission phase. The Ground Network is the successor to the NASA Satellite Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STADAN).

Ground Truth
Geophysical parameter data, measured or collected by other means than by the instrument itself, used as correlative or calibration data for that instrument data. It includes data taken on the ground or in the atmosphere. Ground truth data are another measurement of the phenomenon of interest; they are not necessarily more 'true' or more accurate than the instrument data.

A detailed description of a number of data sets and related entities, containing information suitable for making a determination of the nature of each data set and its potential usefulness for a specific application.

Guide Service
A set of detailed information combined with a mechanism to provide responses to queries.

Guide System
A specific implemented mechanism that provides guide information in response to queries.