Welcome to SESDA

Welcome to the Space and Earth Science Data Analysis (SESDA III) home page. SESDA III is the premier space and Earth science contract at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, held by ADNET Systems, Inc. ADNET, Wyle and Telophase form TEAM ADNET.

Approximately 300 scientists and engineers provide vital support to NASA under the SESDA III contract. Watch this site for exciting SESDA III news, events and job opportunities.

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Dusting Off GES DISC Data

June 26, 2014

A massive dust storm covered much of China this past April, turning the air brown and creating health hazards. Much of the data about this monster storm were provided by SESDA 3 scientists and engineers working at the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC), who support numerous missions that provide a wide range of critical global climate data.
For example, a number of near-real-time (NRT) data products from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on the Aqua satellite provide information about the onset of dust storms. The “AIRS Dust Score” is one of these AIRS NRT products. The AIRS Dust Score numerical scale is a qualitative representation of the presence of dust in the atmosphere, and an indication of where large dust storms may form and the areas that may be affected. The Dust Score and other AIRS NRT products are fed to the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). These NRT products can be visualized using the GES DISC AIRS NRT Data MapViewer and can be overlain with data products from other instruments and satellites in Worldview, an EOSDIS tool that allows users to interactively browse global, full-resolution satellite imagery and then download the underlying data.
AIRS dust storm image
An AIRS image from late April showing the massive atmospheric dust concentrations in China (the large orange and red area on the right side of the map) during the dust storm. NASA image.

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SESDA Staff Help NASA Look to the Stars

June 5, 2014

SESDA staff contributed to developing and testing the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), one of four instruments that make up the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The 1.4 metric ton ISIM is the science instrument payload of the JWST and will help make the JWST the most powerful space telescope ever built. The NIRSpec was installed on the ISIM in April, which means that all instruments making up the ISIM have been integrated.
The NIRSpec instrument will capture light from up to 100 space objects simultaneously and separate the light into its component spectral lines. A key component of the NIRSpec is the microshutter array (MSA), which, along with the Focal Plane Assembly, was developed at Goddard Space Flight Center with support from SESDA scientists. The MSA is what allows the NIRSpec to record individual spectra. Each MSA is a grid of approximately 250,000 tiny doors that can be individually commanded to be closed or opened to allow light to pass through; the NIRSpec camera includes four MSAs. By analyzing these discrete spectral signatures, scientists can derive a wealth of information about an object, such as its chemical composition, mass, distance, velocity, and temperature.
The ISIM consists of four science instruments: The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), and the NIRSpec. NASA image.
The ISIM consists of four science instruments: The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS), and the NIRSpec. NASA image.

Additional SESDA staff are joining the ISIM team to support space simulation tests of the complete ISIM in Goddard’s Space Environment Simulator. These tests are designed to see how the ISIM instruments behave in the cold and vacuum of space, and will be followed with a series of “room temperature” tests to simulate the ISIM’s ride into space aboard an Ariane V rocket. Assuming these tests are successful, the ISIM will be delivered for mating with the telescope element in October 2015. The JWST is scheduled for a 2018 launch.

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