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NASA Field Campaign Data

Field Campaigns

Field Campaigns combine ground-, aircraft-, and satellite-based measurements of biogeochemical features in specific ecosystems over multi-year time periods. These studies focus on a particular issue or set of issues and are critical to providing an integrated understanding of biogeochemical dynamics that can be extended across biomes and across both spatial and temporal scales.

The ORNL DAAC compiles, archives, and distributes more than 600 field campaign data products from the following NASA-funded research projects:


The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign that will take place in Alaska and western Canada between 2016 and 2021. Five Pre-ABoVE projects were awarded in 2012 for data set development in support of ABoVE.


The Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) and BOREAS Follow-On studies were conducted in the boreal forest of Canada between 1990 and 1998 to investigate interactions between the boreal forest biome and the atmosphere. Data are available for: airborne fluxes, meteorology, hydrology, hydro-meteorology remote-sensing science, terrestrial ecology, derived surface parameters, carbon modeling, terrestrial ecology, tower fluxes, and trace gas biogeochemistry.

Carbon Monitoring System (CMS)

The NASA Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) is designed to make significant contributions in characterizing, quantifying, understanding, and predicting the evolution of global carbon sources and sinks through improved monitoring of carbon stocks and fluxes. The System will use the full range of NASA satellite observations and modeling and analysis capabilities to establish the accuracy, quantitative uncertainties, and utility of products for supporting national and international policy, regulatory, and management activities. CMS will maintain a global emphasis while providing finer scale regional information, utilizing space-based and surface data.


The Carbon Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is a NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder Mission. From 2011 to 2015, CARVE collected airborne measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide and relevant land surface parameters in the Alaskan Arctic. Continuous ground-based measurements provide temporal and regional context as well as calibration for CARVE airborne measurements. CARVE provides an integrated set of greenhouse gas data that provides experimental insights into Arctic carbon cycling.

FIFE and FIFE Follow-On

The First International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) Field Experiment (FIFE) and FIFE Follow-On investigations were conducted in the Konza Prairie of central Kansas, U.S.A. from 1987 through 1993 to examine carbon and water cycles. Data are available for boundary layer fluxes; vertical atmosphere soundings and profiles; composition and biology of vegetation; hydrology; optical properties; satellite and aircraft observations; soil moisture and properties; and surface fluxes, meteorological and surface radiation measurements.


The Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) is a multi-disciplinary, international research effort, designed to create new knowledge to understand the climatological, ecological, biogeochemical, and hydrologic functioning of Amazonia, its interaction with the Earth system, and its response to land use change. LBA is comprised of several scientific disciplines or components. Data from the Pre-LBA and LBA-ECO components lead by Brazil from 1995 through 2005 are available for atmospheric chemistry; carbon dynamics; human dimensions; land use and land cover change; nutrient dynamics, physical climate; surface hydrology and water chemistry; and trace gases.


The North American Carbon Program (NACP) is a multi-disciplinary research program designed to obtain scientific understanding of North America's carbon sources and sinks and of the changes in carbon stocks needed to meet societal concerns, and to provide tools for decision makers. NACP began in 2002 and continues to date. Data on continental carbon budgets, dynamics, processes, and management of the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide in North America and in adjacent ocean regions are currently being prepared for archival at the ORNL DAAC.


The Oregon Transect Ecosystem Research (OTTER) project was an interdisciplinary project conducted from 1989 through 1991 as a cooperative effort between NASA and several universities in the U.S.A. and Canada to discern the ecology of western coniferous forests through the use of remote sensing technology supported by ground observations. Available data include canopy chemistry, meteorology, field sunphotometer, airborne sunphotometer, and timber measurements.

SAFARI 2000 (S2K)

The SAFARI 2000 (S2K) Project was an international science initiative to study the linkages between land and atmosphere processes in the southern African region, including the relationships of biogenic, pyrogenic, and anthropogenic emissions and the consequences of their deposition to the functioning of the biogeophysical and biogeochemical systems. This initiative was conducted from 1999 through 2001, and built around a number of ongoing, already-funded activities by NASA, the international community, and African nations. Available data include: atmospheric and airborne studies; background land cover and soils; climate and meteorology; field based measurements; hydrology studies; regional assessments; and remote sensing.

Superior National Forest (SNF)

During the summers of 1983 and 1984, NASA conducted an intensive experiment in a portion of the Superior National Forest (SNF) near Ely, Minnesota, U.S.A. The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the ability of remote sensing to provide estimates of biophysical properties of ecosystems, such as leaf area index (LAI), biomass, and net primary productivity (NPP). Detailed vegetation data were collected for about 100 sample sites which represented a range of stand density and age for spruce, aspen, jackpine and mixed stands. Available data include: biomass; biophysical parameters; canopy composition and reflectance; climatology from 1972 through 1990; leaf optical properties; and vegetation.