Miller, SD, Hawkins, JD, Lee, TF, Turk, FJ, Richardson, K, Kuciauskas, AP, Kent, J, Wade, R, Skupniewicz, CE, Cornelius, J, O'Neal, J, Haggerty, P, Sprietzer, K, Legg, G, Henegar, J, Seaton, B (2006). MODIS provides a satellite focus on operation Iraqi freedom. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 27(7), 1285-1296.
Extreme weather conditions over southwest Asia posed significant challenges to military operations conducted during the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) campaign. This paper describes an effort to provide improved environmental characterization by way of a suite of value-added satellite imagery tools leveraging moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Available from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Terra and Aqua platforms, these research-grade data were made available to operational users in 2 to 3 hours turn-around time via a near real-time processing effort (NRTPE) interagency collaboration between the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, and the Department of Defense (DoD). Derived products were packaged into a centralized online graphical user interface, Satellite Focus, which provided a one-stop resource for satellite information over the southwest Asia domain. A central goal of Satellite Focus was to expedite information gathering while augmenting the capabilities of users tasked to synthesize a wide variety of environmental information in support of time-critical decisions impacting operational safety and mission success. Presented herein are several examples illustrating the unprecedented capabilities available to Coalition Force users during OIF enabled by near real-time access to Terra/Aqua MODIS.