Environmental Observations from Space — The Promise and the Challenge
Environmental pollution is a problem of world-wide concern and study. Its affects on a local scale are readily apparent, and the monitoring and control of localized pollutants is, perhaps, best accomplished at or near the source. Like disease, however, most forms of pollution ignore our political and national boundaries and take their toll on a far broader, even global, scale. Neither the extent nor the impact of such pollution on our environment is fully appreciated or understood. Certainly our concern is justified, and our willingness to act has been demonstrated. In order to make intelligent, enlightened decisions on our own behalf and that of our decendants, we must gain a deeper understanding of the processes at work in our environment. To accomplish this, we must first collect and analyze data which describe and define these processes. Much of this data can be collected locally by in situ measurement, or remotely using instrumented aircraft. Where the phenomena occur over large areas or are even global in extent, we must seek a new viewpoint, and here lies the promise of environmental observation from space.
KeywordsData Collection System Universal Transverse Mercator Payload Data Environmental Observation Multispectral Scanner
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