National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center Goddard Space Flight Center

Real-Time Earth Observation

for Societal Benefits

Register Today
Real-Time Earth Observation

for Societal Benefits

Register Today
Real-Time Earth Observation

for Societal Benefits

Register Today
Real-Time Earth Observation

for Societal Benefits

Register Today
Real-Time Earth Observation

for Societal Benefits

Register Today
Real-Time Earth Observation

for Societal Benefits

Register Today
Real-Time Earth Observation

for Societal Benefits

Register Today

General Information

Enabling Real-Time Earth Observations for Societal Benefits


The purpose of the NASA Direct Readout Conference (NDRC) is to provide a venue for awareness and exchange of remote sensing science research and corresponding applications using Direct Readout (DR), or real-time Earth observations from NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) and Suomi NPP (S-NPP) instrument data, along with exposure to enabling technologies.  It is also hoped that this venue will foster conversations and collaborations which would help identify areas in Direct Broadcast  and Direct Readout (DR) that would improve and/or enhance decision support systems. 


Toward this purpose we will have plenaries and poster sessions but also incorporate several workshops focused on specific real-time applications, algorithms and systems.  This will be enhanced by vendor presence to provide keen insights into algorithm and system implementation onto operational systems, as well as commercial availability of such capabilities.


The NDRC will be held June 21st - 24th, 2016, in Valladolid, Spain.  Click here to download the NDRC-9 flyer. 



This conference will enable attendees to:

  • Exchange and share techniques and knowledge for the optimal use of real-time Earth observations
  • See demonstrations and evaluations of Earth observations benefiting society
  • Discover and discuss the latest EOS/S-NPP science algorithms for real-time applications
  • Understand what constitutes decision support system application algorithms and information, and discuss and help define what is needed in such systems
  • Discuss approaches, methods and techniques to transition research Earth remote sensing algorithms to real-time applications algorithms that are able to generate information for decision support systems
  • Better understand the transition from MODIS instrument algorithms to VIIRS based algorithms in generating equivalent geophysical parameter products
  • Better understand the differences between real-time algorithms and standard algorithms from various sources
  • See and hear first-hand what technology tools are available to support real-time Earth observation product generation for decision support systems
  • Better understand the breadth and scope of how the EOS and S-NPP instrument data can support real-time applications


The conference program is divided into four parts: plenary sessions, poster sessions, workshops, and vendor exhibits. Abstract submissions are welcome for the  plenary and poster sessions addressing the themes below.  In addition, during registration you will be asked to submit topics of interest for the workshops.


Plenary and Poster Session Themes

1)  Applications for Societal Benefits

This theme is subset into 6 of the 9 areas defined by GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) that are meaningful to DR users.

Agriculture: Supporting sustainable agriculture and combating desertification
Satellite observations effectively monitor the status, and consequences, of agricultural activities.  Issues include: farming and grazing systems; crop risk assessment and production; fishery statistics; food and water security; drought severity, persistence and extent; deforestation and forest degradation (e.g. UN REDD Programme); land use and land cover change; and changes in the extent and severity of land degradation and desertification. Presentations would address the use of high-resolution observation data from satellites for real-time environmental  mapping, using  information services, and  integrating spatially explicit socio-economic data with agricultural,  forest, and fishery data, with applications in poverty and food monitoring, international planning, and sustainable development.

Health: Understanding environmental factors affecting human health and well being
The negative impact on human life caused by weather related diseases can be reduced by accurate and real-time monitoring of environmental geophysical conditions that spread both vector borne and non-vector borne diseases. The major elements monitored by Earth observing systems that impact disease spread include: precipitation, air temperature, absolute and relative humidity, wind, sea surface temperature, land use, land cover, vegetation and deforestation.  Near real-time monitoring of health issues with Earth observations also include: airborne, marine, and water pollution; stratospheric ozone depletion; persistent organic pollutants; and harmful algal blooms.  Early warning and monitoring of weather-related disease vectors is also a critical element that includes methods, techniques and implementations that improve the flow of appropriate environmental data and health statistics to the health community.

Water: Improving water resource management through better understanding of the water cycle
Water resource management can be improved by near-real-time monitoring of water cycle components including precipitation; soil moisture; lake and reservoir levels; snow cover; land and sea ice; and water quality.Presentations and posters would address the improvement of integrated water resource management and/or bringing together observations, predictions for decision support systems and by creating better linkages to climate and other data. This could include the latest efforts in the use of in situ networks and the automation of data collection.

Synoptic, low latency observations are critical to support disaster mitigation and response activities, thereby reducing loss of life and property from natural and human-induced disasters.  Focus will be on:

  • Flood detection, mapping and modeling
  • Volcanic eruptions (including aviation safety)
  • Assessing onset of drought conditions by mapping evapotranspiration and vegetation health
  • Locust early warning
  • Air quality, transport and health risks
  • Coastal zone algae such as algal bloom development identification and early warning
  • Earthquake, landslide, hurricane and severe weather damage assessment
  • Fire detection and mitigation
  • Fire fuel loading assessment

In addition to improved hazard detection and characterization, subject matter would also focus on forecasting and assessment and management, including timely dissemination of information via integrated systems, and enhanced products for hazard response.

Ecosystems: Improving the management and protection of terrestrial, coastal and marine resources
Near real-time observations are needed to monitor the spatial extent and condition of natural resource stock levels in ecosystems such as forests, rangelands, coastal zones and oceans, as well as continuity of observations for monitoring ocean and canopy properties. Presentations and posters are sought that include the latest methodologies and near real-time observations available to detect and predict changes in ecosystem condition as a result of human impacts, environmental conditions, climate change and biotic and abiotic agents.  The availability and collection of in situ data used and integrated with space-based observations could also be addressed. Issues in this area include the condition and extent of ecosystems, distribution and status of species, and genetic diversity in key populations.

Weather: Improving access to real-time weather information, forecasting and warning
Virtually all economic sectors and many public and private activities are affected by weather. Timely weather information from Earth Observing satellites has a profound impact on reducing uncertainties results in societal benefits especially improving safety, quality of life, hedging against uncertainty, and enhancing productivity and business profits. The financial impacts on energy, aviation/transportation, recreation, business operation and many others, are significant.  The availability of frequent and comprehensive satellite observations at moderate resolution significantly improve weather forecasting throughout the world. Presentations and posters would focus on the application of near real-time data products and methods to fill critical spatial gaps in observations of wind and humidity profiles, and precipitation over ocean areas, and improving the quality of nowcasts and short-term forecasts. 


2)  Science and Algorithms for Direct Readout

  • Biophysical parameters and indicators (i.e. vegetation, water stress, evapotranspiration) production to monitor natural and environmental resources
  • Algorithm calibration, regional/global product validation and continuity from EOS to S-NPP
  • Nowcasting and forecasting modeling using real-time EOS/S-NPP data

3)  Direct Readout Technology Tools, Measurement and Data Processing Techniques

  • Efficient Image Processing, Scaling, and Smoothing Techniques
  • Data Verification and Ground Observations Assimilation
  • Data Utilization and Product Generation
  • Real-time Data Visualization Tools
  • Data Dissemination via Geostationary Communication Systems
  • Near-real-time Science Data Processing Systems
  • GIS Systems and Interfaces for real-time operations
  • Operational and Research Processing software packages for DR applications


Science/Technical Workshops:
At this time 4 workshops are being formulated, separated by discipline:

The workshops will be open to all but targeting scientists and researchers working on algorithms, measurement and data processing techniques.  The workshop structure would consist of a discipline specific subject matter of interest to the majority, and/or problem areas.  The content will be presented in an end-to-end context by invited subject matter experts.  The concept of “end-to-end context” refers to placing whatever the specific subject matter is within the bigger picture of where it resides for the purpose of “building-in” as many elements as possible that the attendee would have interest in.  The workshop contents and structure will be constantly updated so please check back on a frequent basis.


Vendor  Exhibits
A vendor exhibit area will be available to allow space for corporate display of elements and literature that would enhance, enable and address the 3 NDRC-9 themes.  Allotted space per exhibit is 10 feet by 6 feet.  Exhibit set-up may begin after 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 20.  Vendors wishing to display exhibits at the conference should contact the NDRC-9 Organizing Committee:


The NDRC-9 Organizing Committee
Professor Jose-Luis Casanova - LATUV
Dr. Julia Sanz - LATUV
Allen Huang - CIMSS/SSEC, University of Wisconsin
Anders Soerensen - EUMETSAT
Jasmine Nahorniak - Oregon State University
Brad Quayle - USDA Forest Service
Patrick Coronado - NASA DRL
Kelvin Brentzel - NASA DRL