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Table 1. Satellite image maps for sale by the U. S. Geological
2. Laser Geodynamic Satellite (LAGEOS)
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 that are needed to meet the Department's responsibilities. We feel
strongly that a number of new information needs resulting from this recent legislation may be offset by the applications of aeronautics and space technology.
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 technology.
The Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Program is a departmental program, managed by the Geological Survey for the Department of the Interior. The primary functions of the Program with regard to remote sensing technology are:
o applications demonstration and research
O user assistance and training
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. In addition, 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 the Interior.