Imágenes de páginas

Foreign users and industry are the principal purchasers of Landsat

data, each accounting for about 30 percent of total sales.

of the

145 energy-related industries on the Forbes list, 122 have ordered data

from EDC during the past two years; 53 of these show

highly repetitive

ordering pattern suggesting continuing operational use of the data.

Earth resource satellites to be launched in the near future, and

which are of interest to the Department of the Interior, include

Landsats-C and -D, Magsat, and Seasat.

Landsat-C will include a thermal

band in the multispectral scanner which is expected to markedly increase

wledge of the dynamic surface properties of the Earth and be of great

significance to the geological, hydrological, oceanographic, and

meteorological sciences.

Landsat-D will include a new multispectral scanner, called the

Thematic Mapper, that will provide images in more spectral bands and of

higher resolution than Landsats-1, -2, and -C.

Data from this new

scanner will be used for experi

ental purposes within the Department.

Several years of research will be required to modify analysis capabilities

and to bring the use of Thematic Mapper data to the same level of maturity

now current for Multispectral Scanner data.

The Geological Survey and NASA have cooperated in the analysis of

existing satellite magnetometer data, and have produced a preliminary

magnetic anomaly map of the world.

One of the most striking anomalies,

discovered through this research, is located in central Africa and is

associated with several major mineral deposits.

An improved magnetometer

satellite, Magsat, is scheduled for launch in September 1979, and is

expected to provide the necessary information for more detailed

geological studies, and for improved field models and charts.

Seasat, to be launched in spring 1978, will provide the first

opportunity to evaluate the usefulness of space-acquired radar sensors to

ongoing resource and environmental missions of the Department, especially

to monitoring of polar ice and analysis of coastal environments.

Longer term research and development in the use of Earth resource

satellite data is also needed. Although some weakly visible stereoscopic

coverage is provided by Landsat, the areal extent of this coverage is

limited to as little as 20 percent of an individual scene at the equator.

Some petroleum and mining companies, and other industrial groups, recognize

a need to acquire stereoscopic coverage for all the land areas of the

world. Stereoscopic coverage would facilitate the analysis of subtle

landform features, drainage, and geologic structure, especially in some

areas where strata are low dipping.

Luminescence is the property of some materials to emit light when

excited by external stimuli such as ultraviolet lamps or the sun.


stimulated luminescence of a variety of geologic, agricultural, and

pollution materials has been detected with airborne equipment developed

by NASA and the EROS Program. Preliminary studies show that instrumentation

capable of imaging luminescence and operating from the Space Shuttle is


Sensitivity would be comparable to the existing aircraft

system which permits detection of luminescence Intensities several

orders of magnitude below that seen with the naked eye.

Although data acquired by sensors in the visible and infrared parts

of the spectrum have been very successful, acquisition of data is hampered

by clouds and inclement weather.

Microwave systems not only are much

less weather dependent, but would also provide data from another part

of the spectrum. The National Academy of Sciences has recommended

proceeding with ground and aircraft studies that may lead to a spacebome

Imaging microwave program.

Geological and geophysical studies have shown that movements of

large parts of the Earth's crust have taken place during geologic time.

Occurrence of mineral and energy resources is closely linked to geologic

structure associated with these movements.

The Laser Geodynamic

Satellite (LAGEOS) was launched in May 1976. This satellite is a

sphere 60 cm in diameter fitted with several hundred mirrors to reflect

light from lasers aimed from the Earth.

Laser ranging is expected to

permit precision measurement of intercontinental distances with accuracies

of less than 5 cm.

In many cases, it will require a decade or more of

data acquisition to establish the precise rates of crustal motions.

The Geological Survey's programs in Lunar and Planetary studies

have shifted from direct scientific support of lunar landings during the

Apollo era to analysis of data from miss

ons to Mars, Mercury, Venus,

Jupiter, and Saturn.

This exploration is directed toward a comparison

of the geologic materials, processes, and history of these planets with

Earth in order to achieve insight into development of the Earth's crust

and processes that affect land, mineral, and energy resources.

Purpose and scope

This paper was prepared at the request of Congressman Olin E. Teague,

Chairman, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives,

as background to that Committee's hearings on January 24, 25, and 26,


The objective of the hearings is "... to review current

Administration planning and the range of opportunities which exist for

future space programs."

This paper reviews some of the Department of the Interior's

current activities in the use of Earth resource data collected by

satellite, anticipated use of data from Earth satellite missions which

have been approved but not yet flown, opportunities for longer-term

research in the use of Earth resource data, and current status and

near future (1980's) outlook for exploration of the planets.


To facilitate the use of current and future space systems, the

Interior Department established the Earth Resources Observation Systems

(EROS) Program in 1966.

The purpose of the EROS Program is to develop,

demonstrate, and encourage applications of remotely sensed data acquired

from aircraft and spacecraft which are relevant to functional responsi

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The Interior Department seeks to take maximum advantage of space

technology to fulfill its responsibilities commensurate with economy

and efficiency. Research using space data and technology has led to

beneficial uses within the Department and provision of space data to

some organizations with similar responsibilities in State and local

governments as well as foreign countries. Along with use of the technology

goes the fundamentally important task of assuring that the needs of the

Interior Department are known by the National Aeronautics and Space

Administration (NASA) and that NASA's space research and development is

aimed at meeting those needs.

The EROS Program discusses with NASA

the results of present space technology use, the improvements needed

in present systems, Interior's identified information needs, and the

design of new systems to meet those needs.

The key facility of the EROS Program is the EROS Data Center (EDC)

in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the principal archive for remotely sensed

data collected by U.S. Geological Survey (GS) aircraft, by NASA

research aircraft, and by Landsat, Skylab, Apollo, and Gemini spacecraft.

24-215 0.79-28

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