An example of a current map of a dust source region. EMIT seeks to refine and improve maps of dust sources. Source: Ginoux, P., Prospero, J. M., Gill, T. E., Hsu, N. C., and Zhao, M. ( 2012), Global‐scale attribution of anthropogenic and natural dust sources and their emission rates based on MODIS Deep Blue aerosol products, Rev. Geophys., 50, RG3005.

Background

The Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source InvesTigation (EMIT) is an Earth Ventures-Instrument (EVI-4) Mission to map the surface mineralogy of arid dust source regions via imaging spectroscopy in the visible and short-wave infrared (VSWIR). The maps of the source regions will be used to improve forecasts of the role of mineral dust in the radiative forcing (warming or cooling) of the atmosphere. EMIT is scheduled for launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in the early 2020’s.

Problem

Aspects of EMIT's mission design were in refintement. Automated scheduling was used with a range of design parameters to produce schedules which were then automatically analyzed with respect to science acquired.
EMIT is unable to acquire valid data when target regions are obscured by clouds, so the likelihood of cloud obscurations was taken into account when analyzing the schedules.

Impact

The EMIT adaptation was used to evaluate the impacts on science from hardware design (specifically pointing capability) as well as the exact definition of the mission success criteria.

Publications