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The NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) Science Data Segment (SDS) provides a framework for the future of NASA's distributed Earth science data systems. The NPP SDS performs research and data product assessment while using a fully distributed architecture. The components of this architecture are organized around key environmental data disciplines: land, ocean, ozone, atmospheric sounding, and atmospheric composition. The SDS thus establishes a set of concepts and a working prototypes. This paper describes the framework used by the NPP Project as it enabled measurement-based earth science data systems for the assessment of NPP products.