AeroAstro Annual 7
Annual Report 2009-2010
21 Confronting energy and environment’s toughest challenges with computational engineering SPACE-BASED OBSERVATION PROGRAM IS KEY TO INFORMED CLIMATE CHANGE REMEDIATION By Daniel Selva, Brandon H. Suarez, and Edward F. Crawley With the threat of climate change on the horizon and generating more public debate than ever, an MIT Aero- nautics and Astronautics research group is architecting a system to monitor climate, perform Earth science research, and forecast weather for the United States. The Earth observa- tion system will comprise a complex network of satellites working in conjunction with aircraft, weather balloons, and other observation platforms. As govern- ment agencies like NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration look to the future, they will make decisions to build new satellites and invest in new technology. The MIT Space System’s Architecture Group is creating the tools and methodologies to inform these decisions and create a holistic system. DATA COLLECTION IS THE KEY TO CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION There is now evidence that if governments around the world take no action to combat climate change, the consequences of the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are likely to harm ecosystems, human health, and the world economy. Most governments now understand that this is a real problem that requires a response. Reducing global green- house gas emissions, and investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies MIT’s Space System Architecture Group is architecting a complex system of weather balloons, aircraft, satellites, and a ground data network to monitor climate, perform Earth science research, and forecast weather for the United States.