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About the Purdue Terrestrial Observatory

Satellite Image of Purdue

The PTO deploys two Real-Time Multi-Satellite Receiving Stations, a geostationary groundstation for NOAA's GOES and a tracking groundstation for polar orbiting satellites, including NOAA's AVHRR and NASA's Terra & Aqua MODIS sensors. Researchers focus on temporal and spatial analysis, data fusion and data mining of remotely sensed imagery in a high performance, high bandwidth environment.

The PTO works closely with other research groups and services at Purdue, including Purdue's Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing (LARS), which celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2011, the NASA supported Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC), the Envision Center for Visualization and Data Perceptualization, and the IndianaView Consortium and others.

The PTO is building upon these relationships to develop cooperative agreements with NASA, DOD, NIMA, NIST, NSF, NOAA, DOT, DOE, USGS, EPA, USDA, CDC and the Office of Homeland Security. Currently, the PTO serves as the lead agency for the IndianaView consortium, a member of the USGS-supported AmericaView, Inc.

Alliances are being sought with the relatively small number of university-based real-time remote sensing facilities, including those based at minority-serving institutions, so as to facilitate research collaboration and to assure critical redundancy.

PTO is a part of the Scientific Solutions group within ITaP's Research Computing (RCAC).

Illustrations of and access to some of the data from the receiving stations are available via the links to the left. Examples of data and data products are reflectance or radiance, NDVI, EVI, Land Surface Temperature, Chlorophyll A, Optical Depth, Fire Mask, Snow Cover and many more.

The PTO group also provides licensing support for several geospatial software packages available at Purdue including Esri ArcGIS, Intergraph ERDAS Imagine, Exelis ENVI, Trimble eCognition, and IAVO GeoSPHERIC. The freeware package, MultiSpec, is also available.