With spacecraft in orbit and on the ground operating at the same time, coordinating activities is a major challenge.
The USGS Astrogeology Science Center provides cartographic software and other support to both the Dawn and New Horizons missions exploring the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto, respectively.
This software is essential for putting remote sensing data into a consistent cartographic framework, allowing the information from different instruments to be combined.
The ability to do such data fusion is the basis for many advanced data analysis methods used to test models and hypotheses.
Pluto as seen by the New Horizons spacecraft a day before closest approach.
This image is an example of combining data from two different instruments: here, the high-resolution monochromatic image has been combined with color information from a lower resolution multispectral image.
Image created by the mission team from the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute.
Permanently shadowed craters near the poles of the Moon may contain substantial ice deposits.
The USGS is supporting the search for this ice by producing high precision cartographic products from data collected by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
The USGS manages the Landsat satellite series and a Web-enabled archive of global Landsat imagery dating back to 1972.
Geological Survey (USGS) is both a user and a provider of remotely sensed data.
The entire Landsat archive became available for download at no charge in December 2008, and by the end of September 2015, more than 29 million Landsat scenes had been downloaded by the user community.