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Direct Readout Laboratory

About Direct Readout Laboratory (DRL)

Our team at ....        The Direct Readout Laboratory team.
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The Direct Readout Laboratory (DRL) is a technology and information conduit for the Direct Broadcast (DB) community. The DRL acts as an intermediary between missions and DB community members that are not directly involved in the missions. With the support of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP), and NASA Headquarters (HQ), the DRL develops and enables technologies that benefit the entire DB community.

To develop these technologies, the DRL ensures bidirectional communication between missions and the entire DB community.



The DRL maintains communication and an open-door policy with the commercial and Research and Development (R&D) sectors. This policy provides the DRL with critical information such as what equipment and software the community is currently using, what technology the commercial sector is developing, and the needs of the community outside of the missions. As a result, the DRL can report the "State of the Community" to the missions, and the missions can consider the community needs during the design phase.

This Portal provides the Direct Readout (DR) community with easy access to Earth remote sensing data and technologies through shared information resources. We achieve this by:


  • Providing mission-specific information and free technologies to acquire and process Direct Broadcast Data.
  • Introducing the user community to Direct Readout Systems Technologies.
  • Providing users with a design template to receive, process and analyze their own Direct Readout Data.



The DRL is synchronized with the missions and their remote sensing satellite development. The DRL has been involved with legacy DB missions, which means information and technology are not lost. Consequently, the DRL brings continuity and standardization to technology, and it can provide the entire DB community with a DB "Technology Roadmap." A Technology Roadmap brings cohesiveness to the entire DB Community while showing both legacy and future mission requirements.

What is Direct Broadcast (DB)?

Direct Broadcast (DB) is the real-time transmission of satellite data to the ground. As the Earth is being observed by satellite instruments the data is formatted and transmitted to any user below in real-time. Users who have compatible ground receiving equipment and are in direct line of sight to the satellite may receive these transmissions.

What is Direct Readout (DR)?

Direct Readout (DR) is the process of acquiring freely transmitted live satellite data. As Direct Readout technologies have become more affordable and accessible (such as with the onset of the Internet), tools have been developed by the remote sensing community to make satellite data easier to acquire, process, and utilize. As a member of this community, NASA supplies many of these tools to foster global data exchange and scientific collaboration. Live local and regional environmental data, in turn, benefits environmental, commercial, and public interest decision making.



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