ADMG Support for Earth Science Airborne and Field Investigations

Resources for Investigation PIs and Data Managers

The Airborne Data Management Group (ADMG) supports data producers and users of NASA airborne and field investigation data by helping to develop processes and best practices for airborne data handling, metadata, documentation, discovery, distribution, and preservation.

NASA's data and metadata standards are managed by NASA's Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS). ADMG works with the ESDIS project and the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) to provide data producers with information and access to requirements and standards relevant to airborne and field data production and data handling.

Authoritative document sources are listed below. If you have questions or feel additional resources would be helpful, please contact ADMG.

Best Place to Start

NASA Data Standards and Templates

Resources for DAACs

Data Delivery and Publication Process for Airborne and Field Investigations

NASA airborne and field investigations are an important part of regional and scientifically focused studies. The manner in which airborne and field data are observed, prepared, delivered, archived, and distributed varies from that of satellite data. Most significantly, in airborne and field investigations, the individual instrument scientists are responsible for collecting, structuring, checking, and transferring data to the assigned NASA data center. This places responsibility for data product design, metadata assignment, and data formatting onto the investigation scientists.

During investigations, a field archive is used and maintained by the investigation data manager to collect and organize the data and to provide open access to all project science team investigators. Within the required six-month time period, the data are then transferred from the field archive to the assigned Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). Some data may be passed directly from the data producer to the DAAC.

The assigned NASA DAAC is responsible for checking the data, developing or improving documentation, assigning data product Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and distributing  and supporting the public data. Services are improved to make the data accessible and usable. In addition, the DAAC organizes preservation materials and makes all information available to data users. Data support is provided for as long as the DAAC distributes the data. The diagram below outlines the movement of data through these various steps.

Diagram showing how data observations are captured, processed and distributed.

Credits: Airplane and Building icons by Yo! Baba, Antenna icon by Trendy, Databases icon by Ben Davis, Landscape icon by Orin Zuu, Laptop computer icon by Jim Tiffin Jr., People icon by Shastry from the Noun Project.

Types of NASA Airborne and Field Investigations

Several types of airborne investigations exist. Each is associated with one of the research elements of the NASA Earth Science Division (ESD), including the Earth Venture Suborbital (EVS) program, the Research and Analysis (R&A) program, and the Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) which funds the development of new instrument design and validation. All these programs either directly fund airborne and field investigations, or fund the instruments that are flown or used in the field.

The ADMG Inventory of Airborne and Field Investigations provides investigation, aircraft, instrument, data product, and other important contextual information for NASA projects. Investigations funded by other government organizations are included in the inventory if NASA was a significant participant. Descriptions of current and past investigations and instruments are provided below as examples for each group of investigations or instruments.

Earth Venture Suborbital

EVS is one component of the NASA Science Mission Directorate/Earth Science Division's Earth Venture (EV) program. This program has routine funding calls and approximately five investigations are selected every four years. The selected investigations are specialized campaigns utilizing a variety of suborbital assets to gather science data. The investigations may contain airborne as well as ground and/or water in situ or remote measuring instruments. Not all investigations include aircraft flights.

The Earth Venture Suborbital funding call occurs every four years. So far, there have been three rounds of funding (EVS-1, EVS-2, and EVS-3). Funded investigations are listed below (with the most recent listed first). 

EVS-3 Investigations

The list below contains the EVS-3 investigations and the assigned NASA DAAC that archives the investigation data.

Investigation Name Description
ACTIVATE
Logo of the Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions over the Western Atlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE)
Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions over the Western Atlantic Experiment

Status: First deployment in February 2020

Funding Dates: January 2019–January 2024
Deployments: February/March and May/June in 2020, 2021, 2022

DAAC: ASDC

DCOTSS
Logo of NASA's Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere
Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere

Status: First deployment in 2020

Funding Dates: January 2019–December 2023
Deployments: March/April and June–August 2020; April–June and July–September 2021

DAAC: ASDC

IMPACTS
Logo for Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms
Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms

Status: First deployment in January 2020

Funding Dates: January 2019–December 2023
Deployment Dates: January/February in 2020, 2021, 2022

DAAC: GHRC

Delta-X
Logo of the Delta Exchange
Delta Exchange

Status: First deployment in May 2020

Funding Dates: January 2019–December 2021
Deployment Dates: May and September 2020

DAAC: ORNL

S-MODE
Logo of the Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE)
Submesoscale Ocean Dynamics and Vertical Transport

Status: First deployment in 2020

Funding Dates: June 2019–May 2024
Deployment Dates: April 2020 (test) and April/September 2021

DAAC: PODAAC

EVS-2 Investigations

The list below contains the EVS-2 investigations and the assigned NASA DAAC that hosts the archived investigation data.

Investigation Name Active Dates DAAC
ACT-America
Logo for the Atmospheric Carbon & Transport project
2/1/2015 - 1/31/2020 ORNL (ACT-America)
ATom
Logo for the Atmospheric Tomography Mission
4/1/2015 - 3/31/2020 ORNL (ATom)
CORAL
Logo for the Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory
7/30/2015 - 9/30/2018 OB.DAAC (CORAL)
NAAMES
Logo for the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study
1/15/2015 - 1/14/2020 ASDC (NAAMES)
OB.DAAC (NAAMES)
OMG
Logo for the Oceans Melting Greenland mission
4/1/2015 - 12/31/2020 PO.DAAC (OMG)
ORACLES
Logo for the ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS
2/1/2015 - 1/31/2020 ASDC (ORACLES)

EVS-1 Investigations

The list below contains the EVS-1 investigations and the assigned NASA DAAC that is archiving the investigation data.

Investigation Name Active Dates DAAC
Discover-AQ
Logo for the Discover Air Quality Mission
2011 - 2014 ASDC (Discover-AQ)
ATTREX
Logo for the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment
2011, 2013 - 2014 ASDC (ATTREX)
HS3
Logo for the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel
2012 - 2014 GHRC (HS3)
CARVE
Logo for the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment
2012 - 2014 ORNL (CARVE)
AirMOSS
Logo for Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface Project
2012 - 2015 ORNL (AirMOSS)

Page Last Updated: Aug 27, 2020 at 8:29 PM EDT