A recent panel report strongly recommends that NASA leverage its extensive scientific expertise to play a pivotal role in the whole-of-government effort to understand Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).
The report outlines specific areas where NASA can contribute, from advanced data analysis to public engagement.
The panel emphasizes NASA’s unique capabilities in contributing to a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to understanding UAP. “NASA is uniquely positioned to contribute to a robust and systematic approach to studying UAP,” the report states. It suggests that NASA should decide whether to take a leading or supporting role based on its core capabilities and budget priorities.
The report specifically recommends that NASA utilize its existing and planned Earth-observing assets to study environmental conditions associated with UAP. This would allow NASA to probe whether certain environmental factors coincide with known UAP occurrences.
The panel also suggests that NASA should explore collaborations with the U.S. commercial remote-sensing industry, which offers powerful high-resolution Earth-observing satellites. These collaborations could significantly enhance the detection and study of UAP.
Currently, UAP detection is often accidental, captured by sensors not designed for this purpose. The report stresses the importance of using multiple, well-calibrated sensors for UAP detection and recommends that NASA leverage its expertise to utilize multispectral or hyperspectral data.
Sophisticated data analysis techniques, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, are deemed essential for a comprehensive UAP detection campaign. The panel recommends that NASA contribute its expertise in these areas to the whole-of-government UAP effort.
Public engagement is considered vital in the effort to understand UAP. The panel recommends that NASA explore the development of crowdsourcing systems, such as open-source smartphone-based apps, to gather data from the public. Additionally, the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) should be better leveraged for commercial pilot UAP reporting.
The report concludes that NASA should leverage its core capabilities to determine its role in implementing the recommendations, situating its position within the broader whole-of-government approach to understanding UAP.
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