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LANCE-MODIS operates on a 7x24 hour basis. LANCE-MODIS has two standalone systems that use different network routes. It is expected that this redundancy will reduce the system downtime to less than 1%.

Whereas the standard MODIS forward processing acquires 2-hour L0 files for Aqua and Terra from EDOS within 7-8 hours of real time, LANCE-MODIS acquires session-based L0 files from EDOS and the end of the session is available within 10-30 minutes after real time. LANCE-MODIS uses the Terra attitude and ephemeris data entrained in the L0 data. However, for Aqua the attitude and ephemeris data are acquired from the EDOS rate buffer. LANCE-MODIS acquires all of the ancillary products from the data suppliers. The production rules for some of the science codes have been relaxed with respect to these ancillary data to allow the data products to be generated within 3 hours of real time.

All of the MODIS Level 1 (L1), L2, and L3 products generated by LANCE-MODIS have been modified to add "NRT" metadata to the filenames to enable the products to be distinguished from the MODIS standard forward-processed products. In addition, Digital Object Identifier (DOI) metadata has been added to all the Terra and Aqua MODIS NRT products.

Data products are archived in a rolling archive for 7+ days and are available for distribution by direct access to the FTP sites.


Clarification of differences that distinguish MODIS NRT products:

  1. Differences between Terra and Aqua MODIS NRT versus their standard products

    Terra MODIS NRT products are generated using predictive ephemeris and attitude data for satellite position (from NASA's Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF)), whereas the Terra MODIS standard products use the embedded definitive ephemeris and attitude data for navigation purposes. Aqua MODIS NRT products are also based on predictive ephemeris and attitude data. The Aqua sensor (unlike Terra) lacks the ability to generate definitive ephemeris and attitude data, and therefore, the FDF calculates predicted satellite ephemeris data and uploads it to the spacecraft once per day. This data is later returned to the ground stations as Ground-Based Attitude Determination (GBAD) data, which is also time-coordinated with the other instruments. This GBAD ephemeris and attitude data is used to process Aqua MODIS standard products.
  2. Relaxed ancillary data requirements

    The production rules specific to ancillary data requirements were relaxed for some of the Level 2 product generation codes (L2 Clouds, Cloud Mask/Profiles).
  3. Level 2 Land Surface Reflectance product

    The L2 Land Surface Reflectance product's Principal Investigator developed a special version of it for NRT applications. This product uses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Global Forecast System (GFS) ancillary product; the standard product uses the Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS) input.
  4. Differences between MODIS C5 and C6 NRT products

    Apart from the above description of the differences between the NRT and standard products, users should remain cognizant of qualitative improvements and changes in C6 standard MODIS land and atmosphere products. Such improvements and changes naturally carry over to their NRT product counterparts as well.

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