Sunday, December 28, 2014

Volunteering for Earth Observation Science

I recently discovered a science research program that is utilizing crowd sourcing to augment satellite observation data using ground based observations and data collection.  The program is run by the University of Wisconsin - Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC).

The basic premise of the program is to have citizen observers use their cell phones to take photos and sky observations during Earth observation satellite passes that are within visual range of the ground based observer.   Using  a smart phone application (SatCam) to capture photos, observations the data is submitted to the SSEC for processing.  Once the observation is submitted and processed the observer will receive a satellite photo made at the time the satellite passed in view of the observer.

This feedback allows the SSEC to monitor and improve the quality of the cloud products it produces.  SatCam currently supports the Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP satellites.

This is a great low investment science project to involve kids, amateur radio clubs, scout troops and other organizations in providing valuable science data and learning more about Earth observation science.

Here is a set of data files and the satellite image for an observation I made today.

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