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OVERVIEW

The Airborne Sensor Facility (ASF) at NASA Ames supports a variety of airborne research activities for the NASA Earth Science Division. It conducts engineering development of remote sensing instrumentation and real-time payload communications systems, and supports their operational use on science field campaigns. The ASF maintains a suite of facility instruments that are made available for use by NASA-approved research projects, with all resulting data being made available free of charge through public archives. These data are typically used for fundamental earth science process studies, satellite calibration and validation, development of retrieval algorithms, and disaster response. The sat-com based payload communications systems are deployed on most of the NASA science aircraft, and are a key element of the larger NASA Airborne Sensor Network, which allows scientists to view data from multiple instruments in real-time during science campaigns.

The ASF is staffed by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) under the NASA Academic Mission Services (NAMS) contract. It includes elements for sensor engineering, optical and infrared sensor calibration, and data processing.

CAPABILITIES AND SERVICES

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Facility Sensor Systems
Development and operation of remote sensing systems for satellite calibration/validation, algorithm development, and basic Earth Science research (eMAS, MASTER, PICARD, DMS/DCS Cameras)
View the ASF Sensor Systems
 
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Airborne Sensor Network Development
Design, fabrication, and operation of real-time payload communication and control systems, to increase the productivity of the core NASA science aircraft (NASDAT, Telemetry Link Module, MPCS, EIP)
View next-generation aircraft hardware
 
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Payload Integration Engineering
Cross-center airborne instrument integration support with mechanical, electrical, and software engineering services. We also provide services in Flight Planning, Mission Coordination, Investigator Liaison, Post-Flight Data Evaluation, and Data Processing.
 
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Optical and Infrared Calibration Laboratory
NIST-traceable characterizations of airborne imaging devices (supervised by the EOS Calibration Scientist)
View the Calibration Lab
 
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Flight Activities

The MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) is integrated on the ER-2 in Palmdale for the combined SARP and HyspIRI campaigns.