Science, Programs and Projects

The USRA NAMS team supports technology and exploration in several areas, including:

Programs and Projects
  • Space Flight
  • Program/Project Analysis
  • R&D trade studies
  • Space Bioscience
  • Space Sciences and Astrobiology
  • Earth Science including NASA’s Earth Venture Program
Image credits: NASA    

Featured area: Earth Science


NASA’s Earth Science Division (ESD) seeks to answer the question: “How is the Earth changing and what are the consequences for life on Earth?” This mission is broken down into six science focus areas. These areas are:

  1. Carbon cycle and Ecosystems;
  2. Atmospheric Composition;
  3. Climate Variability and Change;
  4. Weather;
  5. Earth Surface and Interior (Geology); and
  6. Water and Energy cycle.

The Earth Science Division at Ames conducts research in each of these science focus areas as well as the Applied Sciences program under Earth System Science at NASA HQ, specializing in airborne science campaigns designed to study Earth’s atmosphere, land surface and biosphere. Observations are used as inputs to a variety of Earth system climate models.

The NAMS Earth Science task will staff and manage the Ames Airborne Sensor Facility (ASF) which develops and operates an evolving suite of advanced airborne remote sensing systems, including the MODIS Airborne Simulator,  that are used to support multi-disciplinary Earth science research.  The task includes the operation of a NIST-certified instrument calibration laboratory; and a data facility which produces Level-1B data (calibrated and geo-located) for the NASA public data archive system.  The ASF also develops and supports real-time payload data systems for large NASA airborne science platforms, including the Global Hawk UAS. 


More on NASA's Airborne Science