Many complex geophysical processes are taking place on our planet. To understand these processes, we need a reliable tool, which is satellites. They allow us to understand all processes on the Earth both at the local and global levels.
Satellites use a variety of measuring instruments. They collect data revolving around the Earth. The received satellite data is processed and analyzed on the ground.
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Satellite Data changing the world: 10 examples
Whether individually or as part of a constellation, satellites allow us to see a global perspective from above. It is necessary to control and protect the environment, including wildfire combat, and ensure sustainable development. In addition, satellites are capable of responding to humanitarian emergencies. Land observation satellites can also assess the condition of vegetation, making a significant contribution to agriculture.
With the help of active and passive sensors, farmers can obtain soil moisture data from space. For agriculture, this is an important parameter that provides an understanding of the Earth’s water cycle. For agricultural planning, satellite technology also provides a valuable tool, namely the mapping of soil types. Accurate soil information is vital for food security in a rapidly growing population.
The global food supply is estimated using satellite imagery and the Normalized Vegetation Difference Index in today’s world. Satellites allow the assessment of the state of vegetation and the estimation of potential yield thanks to the ndvi calculation. Such opportunities make life much easier for farmers and other participants in agribusiness.
Satellite data has also made it possible to create and develop precision farming technologies and practices. The concept aims to improve the efficiency of agriculture while maintaining sustainability and conserving resources. Precision farming could hardly exist without remote sensing6 as it allows early detection and resolution of various problems in the fields, including pests or diseases.
Archaeology: Digging the past out of the ground
Remote sensing makes an outstanding contribution to archaeological research. For example, this technology helps to find places where dinosaurs have been. Satellites help detect four critical factors that indicate the presence of fossil remains. These factors include slope, vegetation cover, proximity to landslides, and aspect.
Remote sensing technology has also helped archaeologists excavate sites from ancient civilizations, including the Mayans and Ancient Egypt. Remote sensing applications with infrared and stereo images made it possible to discover pyramids and other old structures.
Earth studies: Calculating the depth of snowpack
Snowpack is one of the essential hydrological components of the global water cycle. In most regions of the world, it forms the dominant part of the continental runoff. A significant part of the world’s population lives in river basins with snow food.
It directly determines the cycle’s dynamics and controls the climate due to its influence on the formation of the energy budget of the earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. Snowpack provides essential information for flood control. In addition, they are one of the most important sources of drinking water. Without remote sensing technologies, it would not be easy to obtain accurate depth data.
Business: sustainable fishing
With remote sensing technologies, we can monitor ocean color and water temperature. This information is helpful for satellites as it helps to detect different types of fish. Local fishermen can get the data from the satellite to save time and reduce fuel consumption. Furthermore, due to the satellite apps, we can see the places with algal blooming or other harmful phenomena to aquaculture.
Climate change: sea level rise
Sea level rise can become a severe problem, as it can cause the inundation of coastal areas and islands. It’s one of the most dangerous climate change consequences, as it is also a reason for shoreline erosion and significant ecosystems destruction. Spacecraft orbits in combination with satellite altimeter radar measurements help measure sea level globally. It’s an effective way to get accurate data and monitor long-term changes to predict the future of Earth’s climate.
Crime: locating missing people
Remote sensing is also a helpful tool for the detection of missing people’s locations. If detectives want to thoroughly search the territory and narrow the search to save time, remote sensing can help them find anomalies on the ground. Thus, the crime scene can be identified. Satellite technologies can significantly increase the efficiency of search operations and reduce labor costs.
Disasters: Disaster mitigation and recovery
Assessing the impact of natural disasters can be extremely challenging. However, this estimate is critical for planning rescue and recovery operations. It is vital to obtain this information quickly and in full. Satellite imagery makes it possible to compare objects before and after state to detect changes and assess the damage caused. In addition, various satellite imagery applications enable disaster assessment, building shadow measurements, and digital surface models.
Ecology: Ecosystem restoration
Ecosystem restoration is helping to move forward in tackling climate change. However, it is not an easy task because it requires a collaborative effort from different businesses, governments, indigenous peoples, and many others. Various systems and platforms use satellite imagery to detect degraded land, food insecurity, and areas in need of remediation.
Recovery plans are drawn up based on satellite imagery and data. They are also necessary to monitor the status and assess the effectiveness of the operations performed.
Engineering: supplying water via irrigation systems
Construction and engineering also use remote sensing technologies to plan and implement various projects. Thus, it is possible to improve water supply in multiple sectors, including the daring economy. One way to achieve these improvements is through the projection of elevator irrigation systems.
Engineers need to get a complete view of the site before construction begins. Satellite stereo images and photogrammetry are used to generate datasets, including digital terrain models, which are critical to the work of an engineer.
Military: Searching for lost aircrafts
In the past, searches for crashed aircraft could take quite a long time, which meant a tiny chance of rescue for people on board. We know a lot of stories about flying planes in the mountains or other hard-to-reach places. Remote sensing capabilities are also used for search and rescue operations. Many satellites revolve around our planet every day, which allows rescuers to obtain the necessary data in near real-time. Satellite data enables timely detection of aircraft to save lives.
Satellite data can help humanity in solving many pressing problems related to climate, environment, and emergencies. Remote sensing technologies are truly empowering people in many areas. The development of this technology gives a chance to solve those issues that were impossible or extremely hard to solve in the past.