Tracking wildfires. Building fisheries. Understanding hurricane patterns.

NASA data benefits society by delivering high-quality observations of our planet via stand along satellites and instruments on board other satellites. In addition to Earth science research, this information can be used to inform real-world applications useful for public health, resource management, policy and decision-making. A key activity of most Earth science missions is the associated mission applications programs, which engage individuals and groups to use this information in their work. The goal of these programs is to foster new partnerships and out-of-the-box thinking that will generate inventive solutions that aid society. These efforts support NASA Earth's Applied Sciences Program. Connecting NASA research and development with applied science is key to realizing the full potential Earth-observing satellites. A main goal of application programs is to raise awareness and reach individuals who could benefit from this data, especially through Early Adopter programs.

Are you someone interested in using NASA data to benefit society? Want to learn more on how you can get involved with like minded applied science professionals? Below is a list of NASA applications programs to help you in your search.

PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem mission)

PACE will study the Earth and its climate by taking hyperspectral and multi-angular polarimetric measurements of the land, ocean, and atmosphere systems.

Satellite in Space above Earth

Contacts: Erin Urquhart (, Natasha Sadoff (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): OB.DAAC




ICESat-2 is a laser altimetry mission providing measurements of our Earth's surface elevation globally.

Satellite in space

Contacts: Sabrina Delgado Arias (, Molly Brown (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): NSIDC

ICESAT-2 Mission ICESAT-2 Applications

Carbon Monitoring system (CMS) Initiative

The goal for NASA's CMS Initiative is to prototype the development of capabilities necessary to support stakeholder needs for Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of carbon stocks and fluxes.

team pic

Contacts: Edil Sepulveda Carlo (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Ken Jucks and Hank Margolis
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ORNL and GES DISC

CMS MissionCMS Applications


Surface Water and ocean topography (SWOT)

The U.S. - European SWOT mission will use advanced interferometry to observe the Earth's surface waters and ocean to provide the first-ever global survey of land-based water levels from a satellite, as well as unprecedented accuracy of ocean surface topography.

satellite in space

Contacts: Margaret Srinivasan (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Brad Doorn
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): PO

SWOT MissionSWOT Applications


multi-angle imager for aerosols (MAIA)

The Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) represents the first time NASA has partnered with epidemiologists and health organizations on a satellite mission to study human health and improve lives.

satellite in space

Contacts: Abigail Nastan (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: John Haynes
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASDC

MAIA Mission MAIA Applications


Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO)

The TEMPO spectrometer, planned for launch in November 2022, will observe pollution from space at hourly intervals and high spatial resolution (~2.0 km x 4.8 km) over a Field of Regard (FoR) encompassing Greater North America. The high spatiotemporal observations from TEMPO will provide game-changing capabilities in monitoring air pollution in the troposphere. Data products from TEMPO include nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, glyoxal, and aerosol optical depth (AOD), along with an ozone profile product that will provide information within a 2 km layer above ground level. This suite of TEMPO observations will revolutionize our capabilities to monitor the evolution of O3 production and its precursors throughout the troposphere from the morning to evening across the FoR. The TEMPO mission is also committed to conducting non-standard, “high-time” operations, higher frequency, sub-hourly scans (every 5 or 10 minutes is possible) over portions of the FoR, for up to 25% of its observing time. Disaster events, such as wildfires, dust storms, and volcanic eruptions, and other experimental opportunities will be focus areas of the high-time operations. Altogether, TEMPO will greatly advance the monitoring of the rapidly varying emissions and chemistry that governs our air quality.

model of tempo

Contacts: Aaron Naeger (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: John Haynes
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASDC

TEMPO Mission TEMPO Early Adopters


ECOsystem spaceborne thermal radiometer experiment on space station (ECOstress)

ECOSTRESS measures the temperature of plants and use that information to better understand how plants respond to heat and water stress. This stress is detectable from space at the scale of an individual farmer's field, and we can use this information to manage water resources and monitor droughts. Evapotranspiration (ET) derived from ECOSTRESS can be used to infer plant stress before any physical degradation is observed with the naked eye. There are numerous applications for ECOSTRESS thermal data including informing agriculture/irrigation decisions, urban heat mitigation, mineralogy, volcanoes and aquatic ecosystems management.

Satellite image

Contacts: Christine Lee (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Contact team for details on ECOSTRESS Community of Practice
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): LP  



Surface biology and geology (SBG)

SBG will enable improved understanding of climate changes that impact food and agriculture, habitation, and natural resources, by answering open questions about the fluxes of carbon, water, nutrients, and energy within and between ecosystems and the atmosphere, the ocean, and the Earth. The SBG architecture will be centered around two free-flying spacecraft, one hosting a wide-swath global mapping Visible to Shortwave Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VSWIR-IS) instrument, and the other hosting a wide-swath global mapping Thermal Infrared (TIR) instrument paired with a multi-band Visible to Near-Infrared (VNIR) instrument contributed through international partnerships.

Contacts: Christine Lee (, Jeff Luvall (, Stephanie Schollaert Uz (
Early Adoption Recruiting: TBD
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): TBD

SBG Mission SBG Applications


global precipitation measurement (GPM)

The GPM mission is an international network of satellites that provide next-generation global observations of rain and snow. Building upon the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the GPM concept centers on the deployment of a Core Observatory satellite carrying an advanced radar / radiometer system to measure precipitation from space and serve as a reference standard to unify precipitation measurements from a constellation of research and operational satellites. Through improved measurements of precipitation globally, the GPM mission is helping to advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles, improve forecasting of extreme events that cause natural hazards and disasters, and extend current capabilities in using accurate and timely information of precipitation to directly benefit society.

satellite in space

Contacts: Andrea Portier (, Dalia Kirschbaum (
Early Adoption Recruiting: No
Applications Program Manager: John Haynes
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): GESDISC

GPM Mission GPM Applications


Soil moisture active passive (SMAP)

SMAP mission is an orbiting observatory that measures the amount of water in the surface soil everywhere on Earth. Launched in January 2015, the mission has been delivering high quality soil moisture data and is in the extended operations phase of the missions.

SMAP in space

Contact: TBD
Early Adoption Recruiting: TBD
Applications Program Manager: TBD
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASF, NSIDC

SMAP Mission SMAP Early Adopters 


NASA-ISRO Synthetic aperture radar (NISAR)

The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is an orbiting observatory carrying L-band and S-band SARs that image nearly all Earth's land and much of the sea ice from orbits repeated every 12 days. It is used for measuring surface deformation, forest biomass and disturbance and other ecosystem properties, and movement of glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice.

satellite in space

Contact: Batu Osmanoglu (, Ekaterina Tymofyeyeva (, Cathleen Jones (
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: David Green, Gerald Bawden
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASF

NISAR Mission NISAR Early Adopters 

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