The USGS provides land data products to the public and remote sensing community that support a variety of activities, including natural resource management and inter-disciplinary Earth system science. To accomplish this service, on August 28, 1990, the USGS and NASA entered into a partnership that established the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center, or LP DAAC, at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. A 65,000-square-foot addition was constructed to accommodate “the DAAC” as it came to be called. This specialized NASA archive added a new dimension to EROS in that the DAAC would be processing, archiving, and distributing remotely sensed land imagery acquired primarily by the MODIS and ASTER sensors on board NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra and Aqua satellites. Twenty-five years later, officials from the DOI, USGS, and NASA headquarters joined EROS staff in celebrating the DAAC’s 25th anniversary on August 27–28, 2015.
From the start, the LP DAAC has been a source of great pride and innovation. Since 1990, this NASA-USGS partnership has brought numerous technological advances to the USGS. For example, the LP DAAC can house multiple large datasets in one archive, manage an archive entirely on spinning disk, and implement new database technologies that allow for faster ingesting of data. Over the years, every advance has been focused on improving the ability to mine the vast NASA archives and develop new services that scientists can use to learn more about our changing Earth.
EROS Press Conference, August 28, 1990.