Aeronautics and Space Report of the President FY 1995 Activities


Executive Summary

Department of the Interior (DoI)

DoI applied GPS and other remote-sensing technologies from satellites and aircraft in a variety of research and operational programs in FY 1995. DoI continued to cooperate with DoD to use the Navstar GPS Precise Positioning Service (PPS). DoI bureaus purchased approximately 180 precision lightweight GPS receivers in 1995 and used the PPS for a wide range of mapping, inventory, monitoring, and research activities. The Minerals Management Service used GPS in Federal offshore waters to determine the positions of occupied and abandoned oil and gas platforms, wellheads, and pipelines. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement expanded its use of the Navstar GPS to locate water and mine overburden sampling sites for the Appalachian Clean Streams Initiative, a public-private partnership aimed at predicting, preventing, and mitigating acid drainage from abandoned coal mines.

Other units of DoI also used satellite data for a variety of purposes. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) used remotely sensed data and GPS to conduct natural resource inventories, image mapping projects, Geographic Information System (GIS) data base development, and training to support the BIA Indian Integrated Resource Information Program. The Bureau of Land Management used satellite data, aerial photographs, and GPS technology to monitor the health of public lands and the effectiveness of ecosystem-based management practices. The Bureau of Mines continued to use Landsat and airborne multispectral scanner data to evaluate the actual and potential impacts of mine wastes on abandoned noncoal mine lands in Colorado. The National Biological Service (NBS), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), continued to use data from the Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper instrument and SPOT in the Gap Analysis Program for identifying biological resources on lands in 40 states that are not adequately protected and managed to preserve biological diversity. The FWS used computerized mapping, aerial photography, and satellite data to support ecosystems management and data-sharing initiatives with Federal, State, and local agencies and private industry; its National Wetlands Inventory has produced wetlands maps of more than 80 percent of the United States and its territories. The National Park Service worked with the NBS on several prototype mapping projects as part of a comprehensive, multiyear vegetation mapping program in more than 235 units of the National Park System.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel have collected, processed, and archived more than 60,000 daily Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observations since the beginning of the Global Land 1-kilometer AVHRR Pathfinder project in cooperation with NASA, NOAA, and the European Space Agency (ESA). USGS scientists produced a year-long time series of cloud-free vegetation index composites for the Western Hemisphere, Africa, and Europe. USGS scientists helped their NASA colleagues make final preparations for the Galileo spacecraft mission, which reached Jupiter in December 1995. USGS personnel also worked closely in planning and developing several other planetary science programs, such as the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Pathfinder, and the Cassini missions.


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Curator: Lillian Gipson
Last Updated: September 5, 1996
For more information contact Steve Garber, NASA History Office,
sgarber@hq.nasa.gov