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SSAI’s Craig Pelisiser wins AIST grant for TERRAHydro proposal, applying Machine Learning to Earth Science models

June 02, 2022 Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Earth Science, Technical Accomplishment, Technical Highlight

Dr. Craig Pelissier, Lead Computer ScientistCongratulations to SSAI's Dr. Craig Pelissier and the winning team he assembled as Principal Investigator for his recently-selected TERRAHydro proposal for NASA's Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST-21) Program!

The increase in severe weather conditions around the world makes ensuring that early responders have access to accurate near real-time data all the more critical. Craig and his team are proposing a modernization of current Land Surface Models using machine learning to provide faster and more accurate tools integral to improved regional drought monitoring, agricultural monitoring and prediction, famine early warning systems, flood forecasting, and a host of other possible uses.

Read more here: Terrestrial Environmental Rapid-Replicating Assimilation Hydrometeorology (TERRAHydro) System: A machine-learning coupled water, energy, and vegetation terrestrial Earth System Digital Twin

"Recent advances in the application Machine Learning (ML) to land surface modeling has produced enough of the pieces to begin to assemble an ML-based terrestrial Earth System Digital Twin,” Craig explains. “TERRAHydro will take the next step in this evolution by assembling these pieces into a coupled water, energy, and vegetation land surface model that will advance NASA’s capabilities and provide the foundation for a comprehensive terrestrial Digital Twin. We're thrilled that NASA recognizes the importance of this work, and our team is eager to begin constructing this new and exciting technology!"

Craig’s successful team includes SSAI employees Carlos Cruz, Brandon Smith, and Vanessa Valenti, as well as former SSAI employee Grey Nearing, now at UC Davis. Craig and Brandon were both instrumental in the launch of SSAI’s Deep Learning Academy and served as Advisors for the program’s first cohort in 2020. Brandon is continuing to support the second cohort, which kicked off in February 2022. Carlos was one of the first cohort learners. We are proud to see the knowledge gained from the program being put to use to study Earth’s complex systems in new and cutting edge ways for our customers.

This win is clear proof of SSAI’s alignment with our customer’s future requirements and that SSAI is actively preparing to better support them through our internal research and development initiatives.

View the full list of 28 winners here.