The “UAP Independent Study Team – Final Report” discusses the study of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) and how NASA can contribute to understanding these phenomena within the broader whole-of-government framework led by the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). The report emphasizes the need for a rigorous, evidence-based approach, including new data acquisition methods, advanced analysis techniques, a systematic reporting framework, and reducing reporting stigma.
NASA’s Earth-observing satellites and extensive archive of historic and current data sets can be leveraged to understand UAP. Although these satellites typically lack the spatial resolution to detect small objects like UAP, their sensors can be used to probe local earth, oceanic, and atmospheric conditions coinciding with UAP sightings. The U.S. commercial remote-sensing industry also offers Earth-observing satellites with sub- to several-meter spatial resolution, which can complement the detection and study of UAP.
The report highlights the importance of sensor calibration, metadata collection, and data curation in studying UAP. NASA’s expertise in these areas can be leveraged as part of a robust and systematic data acquisition strategy within the whole-of-government framework. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are essential tools for identifying rare occurrences like UAP within vast datasets, but their effectiveness depends on the quality of the data used.
The panel recommends using crowdsourcing techniques, such as open-source smartphone-based apps, to gather imaging data and other sensor data from multiple citizen observers. NASA’s involvement in UAP studies can help reduce stigma associated with UAP reporting and promote transparent reporting and rigorous analysis. The report also suggests that NASA should collaborate with the FAA to better harness the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) for commercial pilot UAP reporting.