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Benefits and Challenges of Developing Standards for Earth Observations
  • Siri-Jodha Khalsa
Siri-Jodha Khalsa
University of Colorado at Boulder

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Data is the lifeblood of the geosciences. The acquisition, processing and interpretation of data all depend on established specifications describing the systems and procedures that were used in producing, describing and distributing that data. It can be said that technical standards underpin the entire scientific endeavour. This is becoming ever truer in the era of Big Data and Open, Transdisciplinary Science. It takes the dedicated efforts of many individuals to create a viable standard. This presentation will describe the experiences and status of standards development activities related to geoscience remote sensing technologies which are being carried out under the auspices of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS). While the value and viability of community-developed principles and specifications have been amply demonstrated, a Standards Development Organization (SDO) exists to provide the environment, rules and governance that are needed to ensure the fair and equitable development of a standard, and to assist in the distribution and maintenance of the resulting standard. The GRSS sponsors projects with the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), which, like other SDOs such as ISO and OGC, has well-defined policies and procedures that help ensure the openness and integrity of the standards development process. Each participant in a standards working group typically brings specific interests as a producer, consumer or regulator of a product, process or service. Creating an environment that makes it possible to find consensus among competing interests is a primary role of an SDO. This presentation will include highlights and insights gained from the seven standards projects that the GRSS has initiated. These projects involve hyperspectral imagers, the spectroscopy of soils, data from synthetic aperture radars and GNSS reflectometry, calibration of microwave radiometers, and the characterization of radio frequency interference in protected geoscience bands.