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Alaska Satellite Facility: Dishing it out for 30 years

Date and Time:

RSVP on Zoom ( or watch live on the UAF or Geophysical Institute Facebook pages.

Portrait of UAF Vice Chancellor for Research and Alaska Satellite Facility Director Nettie La Belle-Hamer
Nettie La Belle-Hamer
UAF Vice Chancellor for Research
Former Alaska Satellite Facility Director, UAF-GI


The Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) began downlinking synthetic aperture radar data in 1991 and became one of the eight original Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) created in 1994 by NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Since that time, DAACs have grown in number and complexity. With only 10 minutes a day of planned data downlinks in 1991, the current SAR data holdings at ASF exceed 10PBs and growing. The science community’s thirst for data is ever growing and technologies rapidly evolve to quench that thirst. At ASF, paradigm shifts occurred when data became big data and on-premises became cloud-based technologies. Through these technology shifts ASF is required to continue to serve data to the user community. With the need to remain operational while evolving, Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data becomes even more challenging on this scale. In this talk we will explore some of the lessons learned by ASF over the more than two decades of serving science data to the community while allowing the systems to evolve. What worked, what didn’t, and what we see coming.

To join this talk, register on Zoom or watch live from the UAF or Geophysical Institute Facebook pages.

Dr. Nettie La Belle-Hamer was named UAF’s vice chancellor for research in January 2022, following her interim service in the position since May 2020. The vice chancellor's role is to build capacity and depth in UAF's research and development efforts. In becoming vice chancellor, La Belle-Hamer stepped down as director of UAF's Alaska Satellite Facility, a position she has held since 2002. Under her leadership, the satellite facility grew into a highly successful program providing remote-sensing data access. She brings the same passion for science and the faculty, staff, and students engaged in research to her new role as UAF vice chancellor.