University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the site of one of four original NASA Regional Application Centers (RAC). [The other locations are the University of Hawaii, Clemson University, and the University of Maryland.] The establishment of these centers is part of NASA's efforts to transfer its newly developed technologies to the private sector, to foster the growth of the commercial use of spatial data products, and to achieve wide dissemination of information. The RAC concept is to aggregate technologies developed by NASA for its own programs and to develop and test low-cost, efficient computer systems that will allow these technologies to be transferred to external users, including the private sector.
UL Lafayette plans to expand its RAC into a state of the art facility with capabilities for data ingest from a variety of sources, including existing and future satellites as well as ground, ocean and atmospheric sensors; for calibration, registration and storage; and for real-time fusion of data sets from multiple sources, with an intelligent web interface to broker transactions with clients.