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Investigation Team

Overview

PACE will make climate-quality global measurements that are essential for understanding ocean biology, biogeochemistry, ecology, aerosols, and cloud properties. Its data will be used to determine the role of the ocean and atmosphere in global biogeochemical cycling, ocean ecology, and how perturbations to Earth's energy balance affect – and are affected by – climate change.

With advanced global remote sensing capabilities PACE is expected to:
  • Provide high-quality observations that will contribute substantially to basic research and applications
  • Extend the current time series of climate-relevant data to enable detection of long-term trends

PACE Science Teams

In 2011, NASA selected the PACE Science Definition Team (SDT). Composed of ocean, aerosol, and cloud scientists, the SDT was charged with defining the science content of the mission and working closely with the engineering team to define a mission concept that optimizes science, cost, and risk.

The current PACE Science Team includes investigators who were selected through the 2013 NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) process. The team is charged with collaboratively addressing inversion for Inherent Optical Properties (IOPs) and atmospheric characterization, including atmospheric correction.
Summary of a recent publication by PACE scientist Zhongping Lee

Goals for the PACE Science Team:

  • Achieve consensus about – and develop community-endorsed paths forward for – PACE's spectrum of IOPs and atmospheric measurements, algorithms, and retrievals
  • Identify current gaps in knowledge, research, and technologies to maximize the utility of PACE
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Science Meetings

PACE Science Meetings [view all presentations]

In 2011, NASA selected the PACE science definition team (SDT) via an open solicitation. Composed of ocean, aerosol, and cloud scientists, the SDT held its first open community workshop in Arlington, VA. The team was tasked with providing science input to the NASA's PACE mission study (ocean biology/ecology/chemistry and clouds/aerosols) and CNES's polarimeter instrument study. The SDT was charged with defining the science content of the mission and working closely with the engineering team to define (a) mission concept(s) that optimizes science, cost, and risk. They are also responsible for defining and defending the science value of the mission concept(s). MORE
In mid-March 2012, the PACE Science Definition Team (SDT) held its second community workshop in Arlington, VA. In addition to reviewing outcomes from the previous meeting (Nov 2011), the outline and schedule for the SDT report was addressed. Information exchanges between the SDT and PACE Engineering Team were a key focus of the meeting. In addition, disciplinary groups (oceans, atmosphere) discussed relevant sections of the SDT report, including reviews of completeness and science traceability. The workshop concluded with formalizing and assigning action items needed for the final SDT report (which was completed in October 2012). MORE
The first face-to-face meeting of the PACE Science Team (ST) was held during mid-January 2015 in College Park, MD. The opening discussion covered approaches for defining the project elements (i.e., science, data processing and analysis, post-launch calibration/validation; procurement of spacecraft and polarimeter) within the mission cost cap. After reviewing recommendations of the PACE Science Definition Team, ST presentations fell under the general themes of atmospheric correction, inherent optical properties, and applied sciences. The meeting concluded by setting ST goals and a work plan for the subequent year. MORE
The second meeting of the PACE Science Team (ST) was held during mid-January 2016 in Pasadena, CA. Threshold Requirements for the PACE Mission, minimum capabilities for the polarimeter, and instrument trade study results were shared. An overview of the mission and top-level schedule were presented along with science implementation priorities. ST presentations fell in to the general categories of applications, science impacts related to the designs of the Ocean Color Instrument and other sensors, retrieval of inherent optical properties and atmospheric correction. The meeting concluded with reports from ST subgroups and plans for future PACE ST documents. MORE
The third meeting of the PACE Science Team (ST) was held during mid-January 2017 at the Harbor Beach Oceanographic Institute in Florida, USA. The meeting consisted of a virtual, self-paced segment in which science team members prepared and viewed narrated versions of their presentations in preparation for the meeting, followed by an in-person meeting. Science Team members formed break-out groups to discuss the status of major project areas, including the retrieval or inherent optical properties (IOP) and atmospheric corrections (AC). Field campaign results and potential applications for PACE measurements were reviewed. MORE

Other Key Meetings

The session,"Frontiers in Ocean Color Remote Sensing: Science and Challenges," was held during the Ocean Sciences Meeting (26-Feb-16). Advanced technologies and frequent, repeated, multi-scale satellite observations, in combination with field measurements, are essential for observing and predicting changes in Earth's ocean. Presentations explored the next generation of ocean science questions from ocean-observing satellites and challenges to those observations from science, technology, and modeling perspectives. MORE
The Ocean Color Research Team (OCRT) meeting was held on May 2-4 in Silver Spring, MD. The meeting featured both oral presentations and posters, which included content on currently-operating missions, upcoming solicitations, the PACE mission, and the upcoming Decadal Survey. MORE