Volume 11, Issue 4 - Fall 2017
ForWarn Makes a Big Move
The hardware “brains” behind the satellite-based ForWarn monitoring and assessment tool have been housed at NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi since 2010. A partnership with Stennis provided critical space, maintenance, and upgrades for the equipment. Now that the tool has matured, its developers have moved the hardware to a nearby facility managed by the Leidos science and technology company. “This move represents a transition from the research and development phase to every day, practical, and cost-effective commercial production,” explains Bill Hargrove, Center research ecologist and lead ForWarn researcher. Taking advantage of a one-season hiatus in 2017, the ForWarn team is also making some needed improvements to the tool’s logistics and design. In addition to the physical move, ForWarn will soon make the switch from eMODIS satellite data to NASA GIMMS/GLAM as a real-time source for ForWarn imagery. “Unlike eMODIS, GIMMS/GLAM is not limited just to the continental United States, so ForWarn will be free to cover North America or the planet, if desired, to meet the needs of an expanding community of users,” says Hargrove.
Pictured: Leidos partner Phil Kuper (left) and Center biological scientist Bill Christie prepare a rack to hold servers that will power ForWarn from the Leidos facility.