Integrating Strategies and Requirements across Federal Near Earth Observation Programs

The Organization: U.S. Geological Survey Land Remote Sensing (LRS)

The surface of the Earth is changing rapidly, at local, regional, national, even global scales, with significant repercussions for people, the economy, and the environment. Remote sensing satellites and aircraft monitor the Earth providing information that is broad, precise, impartial, and easily available. In addition to operating the Landsat satellites, USGS provides the Nation’s portal to the largest archive of remotely sensed land data in the world, supplying continuous access to current and historical land images worldwide. These images serve many purposes from assessing the impact of natural disasters to monitoring global agricultural production, from monitoring the impact of climate and other global changes to supporting national defense.

The fundamental goal of the LRS Program is to provide the Federal Government and the public with a primary source of remotely sensed data and applications and to be a leader in defining the future of land remote sensing, nationally and internationally.

Land Remote Sensing Program Objectives

  • Acquire regional and global remotely sensed datasets from multiple sources, and participate in defining and developing future satellite missions.
  • Ensure the preservation of and access to the Nation’s remotely sensed land data.
  • Expand the understanding and applications of remotely sensed data.

The Problem and Solution: Solutions are unaligned with requirements. This creates duplicated and misaligned sensors and capabilities

The Land Remote Sensing (LRS) program within the USGS is in the midst of supporting the National Earth Observation (NEO) portfolio analysis. Also, developing a requirements management capability to manage the business requirements of its mission programs.  It wishes to be able to capture these requirements in a manner that business needs are not directly tied to or dependent upon individual project or system efforts. Instead, be treated in a abstract manner but yet relatable to the technical capabilities that are available or being planned.  Furthermore, the capability will enable LRS to manage business needs over a longer time frame and evolve the technology of the capacities satisfying them in an independent fashion.  This will consequently lead to greater portfolio understanding and potentially a greater interest in the mission’s expression of their requirements in a collaborative portfolio manner.

The Solution

Xentity provided a clear project plan and solution that provided :

  • Analysis of project data to facilitate the development of team recommendations. Documentation of analysis and results and recommendations
  • Performance of analytical and quality review for the development of the final report and recommendations of components for reuse including documentation of the options , components quality and recommendations
  • Documentation of the standardized schema and metadata used in maintaining project data and metadata. Also, include the maintained and standardized project data and metadata provided by the working groups.
  • Provide project support to the LRS requirements manager in identifying priority tools. Also, identify information elements and process for model development and process integration. Furthermore, document key information elements and tools and recommendations for reusable and useable components.
  • Provide target conceptual, process and data architecture models. Also, provide document target conceptual, process and data architecture based on identification of priority tools an information elements and processes.
  • Based on Target Conceptual, Process and Data Architecture Models , the contractor shall provide documentation of: System and Interface Design, Requirements (full lifecycle) business process, Target Operational Concept, System Requirements Specification, Testing and Acceptance plans and criteria, and Configuration Control Plan
  • Xentity also developed 2 2-minute videos introducing and explaining the program vision.

The Outcomes: LRS has begun the transition to the new Operating Model.

The technology analysis transitioned for implementation by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. This is responsible for the $250 million new satellite and ground station implementation in support of USGS and NASA. Xentity continues to support this transition and further analysis.

The project integrated thousands of requirements across the Federal Portfolio for Near Earth Observation (NEO). Landsat continues to be in the U.S. OSTP Top 5 NEO priorities and the resulting scientific requirements management architecture has become the operating concept for USGS-wide. They are also being currently vetted for adoption NOAA-wide across its 40 major satellite programs.

Other Important Links

KBRWyle – USGS LRS Communications – Learn about the collaborative effort of both the Land Remote Sensing Program (LRSP) and EROS to develop and operate a functional capability to obtain, characterize, manage, maintain, and prioritize land remote sensing requirements (LRS).