Planetary Skin, Astronomical Numbers

Living on Earth had a segment on the radio yesterday mentioning Planetary Skin. Cisco and NASA are teaming to form yet another contender for stimulus funding, with a mission sounding a lot like that of UNEP GRID.

Trillions of Gigabits Every Day
The radio program said “the amount of data from space sensors monitoring the earth is measured in the trillions of gigabits a day and shared internationally.”

I don’t follow remote sensing that closely, but this seems a bit (or two) high. One weeks’ data would be a trillion gigabytes, which equals a billion exabytes. Then again, maybe that explains why Cisco is on the team. Or maybe deficit spending has somehow trivialized trillion.

Billions of Decisions Every Day
Listen to the BBC inflected narrator in the video channeling Carl Sagan. Notice how UAVs in the video are “re-purposed”. Perhaps the military industrial complex will buy into environmental monitoring.

Planetary Skin will directly address this situation by providing a common platform for integrating data; scientific, economic and risk models; data processing and communication networks; and visualization and collaboration tools. – Planetary Skin
A Global Platform for a New Era of Collaboration

Two Trillion Currently Owed to China
I wonder how receptive China will be to having us monitoring them. As our largest creditor, their leader has expressed concern over our debt. I hope they don’t mind loaning us money for this.


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