UNIT 11 Climate and Oceanographic Satellites

UNIT 11 Climate and Oceanographic Satellites - 1 Geo 4143...

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1 Geo 4143 Remote Sensing of the Enviornment Dr. Charles Roberts REMOTE SENSING SATELLITES AND IMAGING SYSTEMS Part 1 Oceanographic, Climate and Meterological Satellites Platforms The next two weeks will be spent surveying remote sensing satellites. There are many ways in which remotely sensed information can be gathered, so before we survey satellites, we will discuss the different kinds of remote sensing platforms. Basically, there are four kinds of platforms. Each has its own characteristics. Ground Platforms These are used to measure spectral characteristics. Experiments that measure pure spectral characteristics occur in the lab, while experiments that measure naturalspectral characteristics occur in the field. Typically, the platform is mounted anywhere from two metres above the ground to about fifteen metres above the ground. The favorite platform is the cherry picker. The radiometer is often held by hand. Shipborne Platforms Usually, these are radar or sonar devices. They are used for navigation, detection of surface ice and submarine features. They are also used for mapping the underside of sea ice and seabeds. Fishfinders would fall into this category of remote sensing platforms. Airborne Sensors These include balloons, blimps, airplanes and jets. Usually, these are subdivided into low altitude (500 to 5000 feet) and high altitude (7.5 miles) photography. All the aerial photographs that you have seen fall into this category. Some multispectral imaging systems are carried by jets. In particular, Hyperspectral data is gathered this way. Satellites Satellite sensing systems are the main focus of the rest of this course, and the second course in the spring. They are distinguished by payload and orbit. Orbits are either high level or low level. LOW LEVEL ORBITS :
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2 Equatorial orbits Polar orbits Oblique orbits Prograde: same direction as the earth's rotation Retrograde: the opposite direction of the earth's rotation Sun synchronous orbits: the rate of the orbit is geared toward the rate that the earth turns, so that the satellite passes over each spot on the earth at the same local time. HIGH LEVEL ORBITS Geosynchronous orbits: The satellite rotates around the earth's axis at the same speed as the earth turns. The satellite appears to "hover" over the same spot on the earth. Geostationary orbits: Same as above Satellites In this section we will primarily look at satellites important to meteorology. Earth resource satellites such as Landsat and Spot will be discussed next week. GOES-Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite This is the most important high level, geostationary, geosynchronous environmental satellites. It is a joint venture between NASA and NOAA. They are placed in orbit over the equator, 19,324 miles or 35,788 km in space. The orbit is synchronized with the spinning of the earth, so that the satellite appears to remain stationary over the earth. It sends visible and infrared data to the earth every half hour. Each satellite can cover 1/3 of the earth at a time. Three can completely cover the earth, however, there are five, to insure complete coverage. When one goes out, the others can be
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