PDF files of our annual editions are available at www.comdig.de/AnnualEditions.html
Aletter from Gottfried Mayer to our readers and friends is at http://www.comdig.de/GMLetter.html
Robust Earth-observing systems are critical to meeting national and international needs. Yet these systems have not kept pace with increasing demands of the public and private sectors for comprehensive, high-quality information on the changing global environment. At a time when federal Earth-observing systems should have been ramping up, priorities have shifted to manned missions to the Moon and Mars. A recent study by the National Research Council found that NASA's Earth science budget had declined 30% since 2000. The scientific importance and societal value of remote sensing systems has not been communicated effectively to the public and Congress; hence, there is little awareness of the shortfalls in our Earth-observing systems--and no driving force to address them. Yet these systems are critical to public safety, natural disaster response, and efficient transportation and they fuel multibillion-dollar industries.