Terra is the flagship of NASA's Earth Observing System. Launched in 1999, Terra's five instruments continue to gather data that enable scientists to address fundamental questions that are central to the six NASA Earth Science Research Focus Areas. It is amongst the most popular NASA datasets, serving not only the scientific community, but also governmental, commercial, and educational communities.
The strength of the Terra mission has always been rooted in its five instruments and the ability to fuse the instrument data together for obtaining greater quality of information for Earth Science compared to individual instruments alone. As the data volume grows and the central Earth Science questions shift from process-oriented to climate-oriented questions, the need for data fusion and the ability for scientists to perform large-scale analytics with long records have never been greater. The challenge is particularly acute for Terra, given its growing volume of data (> 1 petabyte), the storage of different instrument data at different archive centers, the different file formats and projection systems employed for different instrument data, and the inadequate cyberinfrastructure for scientists to access and process whole-mission fusion data (including Level 1 data). Sharing newly derived Terra products with the rest of the world also poses challenges. The ACCESS to Terra Data Fusion Products effort is developing data sharing and access protocols in step with the NDS Share vision.