NSF Workshop Announcement: SmallSats and Arctic Science

Example SmallSats

NSF Workshop on the Application of SmallSat and Commercial Imagery to Arctic Science

Workshop Details
  • When – May 21-22, 2018
  • Where – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Host – Polar Geospatial Center
About the Workshop

The advent of new, high quality small satellites, and the availability of high-resolution commercial imagery is opening a new era of Arctic science. Every remote corner of the planet now has one foot resolution optical and high quality radar imagery, allowing surface cover and properties relevant to biology, geology, geomorphology, ecology, and cryospheric studies to be seen in ways, rates, and resolutions as never before possible.

To bracket this opportunity, the National Science Foundation has funded a workshop to bring scientists, industry and other experts together to address the following questions with a multi-decadal time horizon:

  • What new Arctic science would be enabled with commercial imagery and SmallSats over the next 5, 10, and 20 years?
  • Where and when should collection be concentrated?
  • What sensors are available, being developed, or need to be developed?
  • Strategies for best employing a coordinated, public/private, multi-resolution, multi-sensor constellation for Arctic science?
  • What are the foreseeable road blocks unique to commercial imagery and SmallSats that must be overcome before these resources can be fully utilized? This includes but is not limited to licensing, data quality, data volume, analysis techniques, and cyberinfrastructure.
Kangerlussuaq Glacier
Planet’s SkySat constellation captures glacial change from Kangerlussuaq Isbrae in eastern Greenland between April 15, 2017 (left) and June 5, 2017 (right). Source: Planet.
Steering Committee
  • Paul Morin – Polar Geospatial Center
  • Marco Tedesco – Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Vena Chu – University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Chris Polashenski – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Leigh Stearns – University of Kansas
  • Peter Griffith – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Anna Liljedahl – University of Alaska Fairbanks
How To Apply

To apply, please submit a 1-2 page document with your contact information describing the new Arctic science enabled by commercial and SmallSat imagery. In addition, a shapefile or KMZ describing the geographic extent of the requirement and the optimal times for collection can be included.

Send these files as attachments to: arcticimageryworkshop@umn.edu

Travel support is available for approximately 20 participants. Graduate students and early-career investigators are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due by March 30, 2018

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