The crash of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory doomed effective information gathering Huettaman 6/25 (Emmarie, writer @ Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012404892.html) JPG
Shortly after it lifted off in February 2009, NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica. With that, a $250 million investment became scrap metal on the ocean floor and an effort to begin using satellites to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide and trace emission-reduction actions was dealt a huge setback. Scientists say the information the OCO was intended to collect is a crucial piece of the data needed not only by those monitoring the Earth's environment but also by federal officials struggling to understand possible national security implications of those climate changes. But the OCO's failure highlighted an even broader problem: Understanding climate change requires a breadth of information on variables from atmospheric carbon dioxide to the condition of Arctic ice, and scientists say that satellites are vital for this. Yet at a time where the massive Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica seems intact one day and then collapses into the sea the next, the system of continuous, reliable satellite observation of Earth is at risk, with some aging satellites in dire need of replacement. The OCO was "the only satellite in the world that will do the kind of global collection we need,"said James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and one of the authors of a 2010 report on satellite monitoring of climate change. "And we haven't thought about how to replace it." EOS fails—not functional, multiple launch failure, no solution in the status quo The Telegraph 11 (3/4, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8362163/Nasa-earth-observation-satellite-fails-to-reach-orbit.html, accessed 7-2-11, CH)
The satellite, which cost $424 million (£261m) to produce, was too heavy to reach orbit with its clamshell-like nose cone cover clinging on and plunged into the South Pacific Ocean, leaving engineers puzzled as to why it failed. "We encountered no anomalies" leading up to the launch, Nasa launch director Omar Baez told reporters. But a few minutes into the flight, it became apparent that separation had not occurred. "We didn't see the indication of fairing separation," said Mr Baez. "We failed to make orbit and all indications are that the satellite and rocket are in the southern Pacific Ocean somewhere." The launch of the satellite – which was to measure aerosols in the Earth's atmosphere to help clarify their impact on climate – was delayed on February 23 after an unexpected ground control reading 15 minutes before lift-off.On Friday it rocketed away from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a four stage Taurus-XL rocket at 2:09am (10.09 GMT), but NASA soon reported that it was slowing down and would not reach orbit. A similar mishap took place in February 2009, when a satellite designed to monitor global carbon dioxide emissions plummeted into the ocean near Antarctica after failing to reach orbit, in a setback for climate science. There too, a fatal mission error occurred minutes after lift-off when the fairing, which protects the satellite during its ascent, failed to separate properly. But experts said it was too early to say if the Glory failed for the exact same reason, and that more analysis was needed. "Right now we are crunching the data but there is not enough data that has been processed to tell any more than the fairing did not deploy," said Rick Straka, deputy general manager at Orbital Sciences Corp., which made the Taurus rocket and satellite.
Satellites fail—have faced opposition since OCO crash Huetteman 11 (Emmarie, staff, Washington Post, 1/24, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012405139.html, accessed 7-2-11, CH)
Shortly after it lifted off in February 2009, NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica. With that, a $250 million investment became scrap metal on the ocean floor and an effort to begin using satellites to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide and trace emission-reduction actions was dealt a huge setback.
Satellites – No Impact – Fail
EOS demand makes coordination impossible Frank et al 1 (Jeremy, Ari J´onsson, Robert Morris, David E. Smith, researchers, “Planning and Scheduling for Fleets of Earth Observing Satellites”, NASA Ames Research Center, accessed 7-2-11, CH)
NASA’s growing ﬂeet ofEarth Observing Satellites (EOSs) 1 employ advanced sensing technology to assist scientists in the ﬁelds of meteorology, oceanography, biology, geology, and atmospheric science to better understand the complex interactions among Earth’s lands, oceans, and atmosphere. Demand on these satellites is already high, and is expected to increase signiﬁcantly in the near future. Currently, science activities on different satellites (e.g. the AM Constellation) or even different instruments on the same satellite (e.g. the ASTER instrument on the Terra satellite ), are scheduled independently of one another, requiring the manual coordination of observations by communicating teams of mission planners. It is unlikely that this approach to daily mission planning and scheduling will be viable in the future. As the number of satellites and the number of observation requests grow large, manual coordination will no longer be possible. A more effective way to manage observation scheduling is by allowing customers of the data (viz. the scientists themselves) to request data products from a central authority instead of an individual satellite or mission. Customer preferences will constrain which satellite or satellites will be used to collect the data. Automated techniques can reason about all of the resources that are involved in collecting data, storing the data temporarily on board satellites, and transmitting the data back to Earth. This will enable more efﬁcient management of the ﬂeet of satellites as well as the communication resources that support them
EOS fails—limited scheduling and cloud coverage means unreliable data collection Frank et al 1 (Jeremy, Ari J´onsson, Robert Morris, David E. Smith, researchers, “Planning and Scheduling for Fleets of Earth Observing Satellites”, NASA Ames Research Center, accessed 7-2-11, CH)
An observation request is typically speciﬁed in terms of the type of data and instrument desired, and a series of locations and times for the sensing event. A priority, corresponding to the scientiﬁc utility of the data, is also assigned to the request. A proposed observation sequence must satisfy a number of constraints. These constraints include requirements on the instruments used to collect the data, and duration and ordering constraints associated with the data collecting, recording, and downlinking tasks. In addition, SSR capacity, and constraints on communications equipment such as satellite antennae and ground stations must be satisﬁed. There may also be set-up steps associated with particular operations, like establishing a data link prior to downlink, or aiming an instrument prior to data acquisition. These steps generate further temporal and ordering constraints. A request can also involve coordinating activities among different satellites. For example, a stereo image will involve multiple sensing events of the same location at different viewing angles. In other cases, adequate spectral coverage may require the use of two or more instruments to sense the same land area, or to sense both land use and atmospheric conditions. Finally, scientists may want to image the same area at different times of day. Often there will be too many observations to schedule with available satellite resources. Solutions are preferred based on objectives such as maximizing the number of high priority requests serviced, maximizing the expected quality of the observations, and minimizing the cost of downlink operation In the EOS scheduling domain, requests can be submitted at any time, and high priority targets of opportunity (e.g., ﬁres, earthquakes, volcanos) may result in the need for revising a partially executed schedule. In addition, there are numerous sources of uncertainty. One of the most important, and difﬁcult, aspects of the EOS scheduling problem arises from the uncertainty of the weather, speciﬁcally, with respect to cloud cover. Image quality is determined by the amount of cloud cover and many parts of the world have long seasons where clouds are omnipresent. If a simple “no cloud” scheduling policy were followed, these parts of the world would virtually never be observed. Thus, it is important to enforce a sophisticated scheduling policy which balances a “no cloud” cover restriction with the need for coverage
Satellite remote sensing fails—data skewed by cloud cover National Research Council 1 (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10257&page=24, accessed 7-3-11, CH)
The disadvantages of satellite remote sensing include the inability of many sensors to obtain data and information through cloud cover3 (although microwave sensors can image Earth through clouds) and the relatively low spatial resolution achievable with many satellite-borne Earth remote sensing instruments. In addition, the need to correct for atmospheric absorption and scattering and for the absorption of radiation through water on the ground can make it difficult to obtain desired data and information on particular variables. Satellite remote sensing creates large quantities of data that typically require extensive processing as well as storage and analysis. Finally, data from satellite remote sensing are often costly if purchased from private vendors or value-adding resellers, and this initial cost, together with intellectual property restrictions, can limit the dissemination of products from such sources.