What We Do

Core Capabilities

INNOVIM specializes in Science Systems Engineering, using high technology to create innovative big data and mobile computing solutions. Our scientists specialize in Earth Observation and Climate data, influencing instrument design, ironing out analytical processing and collection parameters, and determining how to make the data available to scientists in a way that makes it most useful for modeling and research endeavors. We also support the framework scientists need to get the job done: from administrative support to program management, facilities and procurement to information technology.

We develop, evolve, and validate scientific theories

These functions include hypothesis verification, observations and their processing, modeling and simulation, visualization and delivery of data products. We perform mission planning, instrument engineering, ground system design, data ingest and archiving, data analysis, data modeling, data distribution, mapping and end user support.

INNOVIM staff has developed remote sensing data processing systems which operate 24/7 and serve a large community of scientists, providing them with global data products and data services. We developed and maintain an operational system from which climatologists retrieve global gridded data products for the MODIS and AIRS instruments. Our phenology products such as habitat suitability maps assist National Park Service personnel to plan their field campaigns.

We perform critical calibration and validation work

Remote sensing radiometers such as MODIS and VIIRS require extensive pre- flight and on-orbit characterization and modeling to ensure the accuracy of calibrated radiances reported at the sensor. An effective calibration and validation (CalVal) effort is critical to the quality and usability of all downstream data products. INNOVIM has a long and highly successful record of performance in this area. Our staff analyzes the characterization and calibration data, models instrument behavior and applies derived calibration corrections to the satellite or airborne-sensor measurements. Validation techniques are established and consistently applied to verify that instrument artifacts have been sufficiently mitigated.

We build and operate science data systems

We have extensive experience and knowledge of scientific and operational data processing systems. Our work on numerous large and complex data processing systems has led to significant insights on the challenges in storing, processing and disseminating vast volumes of remotely sensed Earth/space data products. We have published numerous peer-reviewed articles on the latest trends in design and development of large-scale science data processing systems.

For example, in our recent design and development of a NASA science data system, we achieved very rigid time and cost goals by leveraging many reusable software assets and orchestrating them to work with newly created components. This was accomplished on an SOA backbone that is scalable, and enables us to take advantage of new emerging technologies to provide NASA with many years of successful production support.

We have extensive experience in tasking and acquiring geospatial data from numerous and diverse sources, such as government agency archives (NASA, USGS, EPA), academia (CSU, UMD), private sector companies (Quickbird, IKONOS, Digital Globe, Space Imaging) and project collaborators and stakeholders (NPS, BLM).

We analyze and model

INNOVIM supports modeling, numerical methods, simulations and diagnostics activities. Mathematical models range from simple algorithms to complex prognostic models and data assimilation systems. INNOVIM utilizes GOTS and COTS simulation products to optimize research objectives. We are also adept at advanced studies that require the construction of state-of-the-art mathematical or statistical models and have applied these skills to the monitoring and prediction of invasive species forecasting.

Our staff supports the analysis, comparison and reprocessing of data from Earth-orbiting satellite instruments. We support data reduction projects and apply principal component analysis techniques to reduce the dimensionality of photometric and spectroscopic data sets.

We engineer geospatial data

We have extensive experience in producing, processing, managing and visualizing geospatial data. We employ ITT’s IDL/ENVI products and have employed ESRI’s suite of AecGIS software to:

Integrate vector data from multiple sources while preserving data quality
Manage geographic data through spatial data manipulation and analysis
Apply advanced processing such as predicting spatial outcomes or spatial modeling.
Using field observational data, standard GIS layers such as roads and streams, and modeled surfaces generated from satellite imagery, we produce custom maps showing plant species distribution relative to observation points.

We distribute data

INNOVIM works with the University of Maryland to develop the Service Oriented Atmospheric Radiance (SOAR) system for NASA. SOAR is designed to bridge the gaps and overcome the challenges that the user community faces in accessing petabytes of radiance data stored in large datasets, interpreting the multi formatted data and transforming it into helpful datasets to meet the needs of researchers.

This web-based system delivers applications that process satellite radiance data into standard spatial-temporal grids to the natural resources and climatology communities within NOAA, DOD, EPA, USGS academia and private sectors. The utility of SOAR is exposed via web service routines using the SOAP protocol. INNOVIM designed and developed the web service library, the web application and project site. We contribute to the image processing algorithms and data management practices, as well as continue to support the installation and maintenance of all operational technologies employed, such as Java, AXIS, PHP, PostgreSQL, and Tomcat. INNOVIM staff continues to support the project by contributing software engineering, QA, CM, publishing and training expertise.

We develop scientific tools

INNOVIM develops numerous scientific tools that allow managers to visualize and validate program goals, develop and monitor measures of success, and understand deviations from planned outcomes as they may occur. These tools are often developed among multiple disciplines and/or partner organizations, requiring solid program and project management, an understanding of physical and cultural processes, as well as the goals and assumptions of policy initiatives.

We provide decision support systems

INNOVIM designs, develops, integrates and maintains decision support systems for the Department of Interior (DOI) to forecast biological diversity and manage invasive species across the country.

We perform work for USFS Invasive Species Program, NPS Fire Management BLM Natural Resources and Planning and NASA Applied Sciences. We support missions and applied science projects in a variety of environmental science disciplines.

INNOVIM primarily supplies customized applications to NASA and NOAA.

Every Day at INNOVIM

What do INNOVIM employees do every day? Programming and management, procurement and documentation, our employees are called upon to wear many different hats in the course of a day and a career. Here, a few INNOVIM employees tell you what it’s like to walk in their shoes.

I interface with customers and peers to develop and deploy ground systems that control satellites.  The satellite data is used by scientists and I help the scientists obtain the data and understand anomalies seen within the data.

I document the scientific algorithms that produce land products for the MODIS instruments aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites. With the assistance of the original scientists and software developers, I’m working to write documents that explain how the scientific theory, such as equations to calculate certain values, is turned into computer code.

I start off each morning going through my email from home, before even reaching the office to put out any “fires.” I receive action and reporting emails about the science departments on a variety of things such as updating our lab phone directory, weekly report submissions & monthly science highlights, publication calls, and travel updates. I must answer for our Lab on these issues.

I stop hackers cold in their tracks when they try to infiltrate National Weather Service servers and secure systems, and help migrate old obsolete systems to new technology… it’s like Christmas everyday!

I directly support our Lab Chief and six scientists, support their activities, and manage three teleconferences.  Travel orders are a big part of my job, managing calendars and scheduling meetings. When I am managing travel orders, there are usually a myriad of approvals, especially under travel sequestration guidelines. It’s my responsibility to know what to do and how to accomplish travel packages as the customer typically does not know – they just want to take their trip. It’s a challenge but I enjoy it and there are many admins that I work with and we all help each other.

I write and edit weather safety and related publications, update more than a dozen websites, answer weather questions from the public, send out official service change notices and generally serve as the ad hoc problem solver for graphics, editing, layout and website issues. No two days are the same!

As a Software Engineer on Ozone Monitoring Instrument Science Investigator-Led Processing System (OMI SIPS), I am responsible for the development and maintenance of the Atmospheric Composition Processing System. I also maintain NASA’s Ozone Air Quality Website.


At INNOVIM, we excel at solving real-world problems with science and ingenuity. Step into the INNOVIM Laboratory to learn how INNOVIM solutions help you in your everyday life.

It’s All About Data: Science in the Information Age

Tracing the Weather: From Field to Forecast

Mobile Computing: Models on the Go

Computing in the Cloud

Picking Up the Pieces: Post-Wildfire Recovery

Protecting Patient Privacy

Climate Data Overload: Managing All That Data

How to Find Invasive Species…from Space

Remote Sensing: Earth or Asteroid, It’s All About Instruments