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The Department of Interior recognizes its continuing responsibility
to maintain its stewardship of this Nation's natural resources and,
further, has significant new responsibilities under the Surface Mining
Act. The Gs, through its Land Information and Analysis activities,
including the EROS Program, is working to develop cost beneficial services
strongly that a number of new information needs resulting from this
recent legislation may be offset by the applications of aeronautics and
Further, in order to address many of the problems of people living
in areas for which the Department has responsibilities (from the
Virgin Islands in the East to Micronesia in the West), consideration is
being given to possible demonstrations using NASA spacecraft in an
attempt to determine the feasibility and costs compared to benefits of
providing information and services in the territories using space
The Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Program is a depart
mental program, managed by the Geological Survey for the Department of
The primary functions of the Program with regard to
remote sensing technology are:
o applications demonstration and research
user assistance and training
o reproduction and distribution
The Department of the Interior and similar agencies in State and
local governments are now making use of space data, which are needed
to fulfill resource and environmental Information needs.
the Department provides NASA with information needs that cannot be
accommodated by existing or planned satellite systems, but which require
further space system planning, research, and development.
Currently, space technology is used for exploration for minerals,
small-scale mapping, monitoring land cover change, and many other uses.
Space missions that have been approved but not yet flown will provide
infrared data for use in mineral resource exploration, and global
measurements of the Earth's magnetic field to aid in understanding the
physics of the Earth.
Other missions will continue the collection of
space images, the uses of which have become routine by the Department
of the Interior.
Longer term research will involve the use of microwave systems,
and possibly luminescence imaging systems, which have not yet been used
from space but which have already provided useful data acquired from
aircraft; laser ranging to passive retro-reflector satellites to permit
precision measurement of intercontinental distances; and additional
research with digitally processed Landsat images to assess its potential
role in identifying energy resources in evaporite basins, and in
monitoring dynamic marine phenomena in coastal areas.
Continuation of the development of uses of space data and the creation
of new space and data systems based on recognized information needs are
basic needs of future space programs of benefit to the Department of