This project will establish a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) receiving station at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). MODIS is one of the instruments on board the Terra satellite launched into polar orbit last year; another MODIS will accompany the Aqua satellite into orbit next December. These wide range remote sensing instruments, which span a wide spectral range from the visible to thermal infrared wavelengths, are designed to observe and monitor global changes on land, sea, and within the atmosphere. MODIS uses a Direct Access System to provide a direct-to-user communication link. This system relies upon distributed receiving stations to gather real-time data across their reception masks. The UAF is the ideal location for receiving, processing, archiving, using, and distributing MODIS data across the high northern latitudes. From Fairbanks a reception mask will cover all the land and sea territories of Alaska and span a considerable portion of the whole Arctic Region. The MODIS Science Team has developed and validated a suite of algorithms to confidently extract various surface and atmospheric properties from the satellite measurements. When combined with additional properties, these data should provide a powerful means of approaching issues of scientific, social, and economic importance to the state. The University of Alaska Fairbanks MODIS station will have four main objectives. These are: (1) to expand capabilities for researchers to contribute in solving arctic global change problems; (2) to enhance educational opportunities in remote sensing and satellite image analysis; (3) to assist state and federal agencies, as well as Alaskan Native Corporations, in inventorying and monitoring activity on land (volcanic eruptions, forest fires, atmospheric pollutants, etc.) and sea (oil spills, ocean productivity, sea ice migration, etc.); and (4) provide expedient, real-time, and low-cost access to MODIS data to the private sector in order to encourage development and expansion of remote sensing industry in Alaska (capable of marketing, processing, and distributing satellite image information to their customers).

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University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus
United States
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