of Earth observation satellites
of instruments are flown on space missions, employing various measurement
technologies and techniques both active and passive sensing,
utilising a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
agencies are operating or planning more than 150 satellites with
an Earth observation mission over the next 15 years. These satellites
will carry over 300 different instruments.
sustained investment by the space agencies will ensure the provision
of information of unique value in both public and commercial spheres,
derived from the measurements being undertaken of a diverse range
of geophysical parameters and phenomena.
awareness of the applications of Earth observation satellites tends
to focus on meteorology, and the knowledge that data from meteorological
satellites is used on a daily basis for the Numerical Weather Prediction
models which drive our weather forecasting capabilities. Meteorology
is certainly one of the most established disciplines for application
of Earth Observation satellite data, with satellite-derived information
being used operationally by weather services world-wide. Dedicated
meteorological satellites have been in operation providing continuous
coverage of much of the globe for many years.
reality, only 60, or around 40% of the 150 missions planned for
the next 15 years, could be described as having meteorology as a
primary objective. The other 90 missions will be applied to a diverse
range of research, operational and commercial activities. Given
the significance of the issues, and the unique role of satellite
Earth observations, many will be dedicated to different aspects
of climate or environmental studies. Others will be employed to
assist decision-making in strategic planning and management of industrial,
economic, and natural resources, including the provision of information
required for sustainable development strategies.
frequency of satellite measurements, improved satellite and sensor
technology, and easier access and interpretation of Earth observation
data have all contributed to increased demand for satellite data,
and to the reality of new operational services being established
in the near future for several domains, including monitoring of
key oceanic and atmospheric parameters.
on the various missions and instruments, their capabilities and
their applications is given in the sections (Catalogue of satellite
missions) and (Catalogue of satellite instruments).
ease of discussion, the different instruments listed in (Catalogue
of satellite instruments) may be considered under the following