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The Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) concept is the first National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth mission to develop and implement systematic integration of science application needs at the architecture study stage. Prior NASA mission concept and planning activities presumed that science measurement needs would encompasss application measurement needs and so did not explicitly evaluate and include applications at this stage. However, the effort presented here identified, documented and integrated application needs that would not have been included by considering research science needs only. First, a low latency of no greater than 24 hr was identified as the optimal target to enable the maximum number of applications and was then carried through into all SBG candidate architectures. Second, many applications expressed needs around improved spatial and temporal resolution. While increased spatial resolution would not be possible under current cost and technology considerations, the need for improved resolution for temporal sampling helped drive and bolster discussions with international partners such as the European Space Agency, Italian Space Agency, and Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales. Lastly, we found that the applications and science were synergistic with one another; for example, mission concept decisions to consider additional measurement features were driven by both high relevance application and science priorities, and in particular, evapotranspiration for agriculture and high temperature features for fires and geologic hazards. This paper discusses the process and key contributions originating from the SBG Applications Working Group and how they shaped SBG at the architecture study stage. This stage in the mission planning considers the trade space of spacecraft instruments and architectures, and evaluates which formulations are suitable candidates for SBG. The approach described here may be utilized as a framework for applications and science to inform future NASA satellite mission studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.