The U.S. Geological Survey and NASA are seeking ideas for new approaches to developing spaceborne technology intended to provide both agencies continuous data on the Earth's landscape for at least two more decades.
NASA will officially launch the sustainable land imaging architecture study at a public forum Wednesday at the agency's Webb Auditorium in Washington,NASA said.
"We are looking for system design solutions that spur innovation and increase efficiencies, making use of aerospace expertise from across the government and commercial aerospace sector," said David Jarrett, study lead in the earth science division of NASA's science mission directorate in Washington.
Jarrett added the initiative will look into small and large dedicated spacecraft, hosted payloads and formation flying.
The space agency aims for the system to continue the 41-year Landsat mission of photographing land and coastal regions across the globe.
Scientists use data gathered from the Landsat satellite constellation to analyze environmental changes, land use change, carbon inventories, and forest health, natural resources and climate data.
NASA says the Sustainable Land Imaging Program has been included in the Obama administration's proposed budget for fiscal 2014.