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From Sputnik to Google Earth. Sputnik I Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 Worlds first man-made satellite Size of a beach ball; Weighed.

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Presentation on theme: "From Sputnik to Google Earth. Sputnik I Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 Worlds first man-made satellite Size of a beach ball; Weighed."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Sputnik to Google Earth


3 Sputnik I Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 Worlds first man-made satellite Size of a beach ball; Weighed about 184 pounds Sputnik II launched November 3, 1957 Carried a dog on board named Laika U.S. highly shocked and embarrassed by being beaten technologically Marked the beginning of the US – USSR “space race” Explorer program begun and successfully launched Explorer I in 1958 (50 th anniversary in 2008) NASA formed (October 1, 1958)

4 Sputnik I

5 Laika

6 Sputnik Stamps

7 “Are they looking down at us??!!” Flood of students enter engineering schools A U.S. third grade teacher at a school near a U.S. Air Force Base panics when some American fighter jets fly overhead, shouting “MiGs, MiGs” and runs shrieking from the classroom. (reported in Star Tribune) Her students, many of whom were Air Force kids admire the U.S. F100’s out the window of their classroom Politicians criticize our educational system Ross Perot becomes inspired to enter electronics business

8 Also called “Satellite 1958 Alpha” Part of 1957-58 International Geophysical Year Built by JPL; Designed by William Pickering Scientific instrumentation designed by James Van Allen Discovered “Van Allen” belts (belts of charged particles around the earth) Launch vehicle designed by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABRM) under direction of Wernher Von Braun


10 Explorer I

11 Television and Infrared Observing Satellite Polar orbiting Operated for 79 days; captured more than 72,000 images Used for meteorology Crude but groundbreaking – could view earth’s weather as a system; weather satellites now crucial to forecasting, climatology, etc. Series of TIROS satellites launched through 1965 Captured first complete view of earth’s weather


13 Also used for weather remote sensing ATS-3 (1967) collected first image that showed the whole “disk” of the earth in one view 3 ATS satellites operational over the next 10 years Other atmospheric sensing satellites also launched during this time frame (e.g., the Nimbus series) and used for things like atmospheric temperature and ozone profiles.


15 Geodesy is the field of study that deals with representing the earth and its gravitational field in 3 dimensions. Central to our spatial representation of the earth’s surface used in GIS, etc. General goal of better control of earth mapping Pinpointing geodetic control stations in 3D earth coordinate system within 10 meters Determining structure of earth’s gravitational field Mapping gravitational anomalies Testing geodetic remote sensing equipment

16 Astronauts took photos of the earth’s land surface from space for the first time Inspired the development of the first land remote sensing satellite – ERTS (Landsat 1) William Pecora (USGS Director in 1965) proposes idea of a satellite system to map and monitor the natural resources of earth – new concept All previous RS satellites were weather related

17 Seven original Apollo astronauts with model of Apollo launch vehicle:

18 John F. Kennedy with John Glenn after 1 st successful manned orbit

19 Armstrong’s 1 st photo while standing on moon

20 Buzz Aldrin on moon taken by Neil Armstrong (1969 Apollo 11)

21 Ticker tape parade celebrating return of lunar astronauts

22 William Pecora (USGS Director in 1965) proposes idea of a satellite system to map and monitor the natural resources of earth – new concept All previous RS satellites were weather (or earth physics) related Strong political opposition – airborne imagery good enough and more cost effective, etc., etc. DoD fears compromising its secret operations Finally approved in 1970 after some tricky political maneuvering (DOI threatens to launch its own satellite system inspiring NASA to come up with a plan)

23 Later (1975) renamed Landsat 1 – the beginning of land remote sensing Carried two instruments Return Beam Videocon (RBV) – operational Multispectral Scanner (MSS) – experimental RBV failed soon after launch Scientists began working with MSS data and discovered that the images were extremely useful First multispectral image of whole earth’s surface (at 80 m spatial resolution)

24 Landsat 1 (with MSS), in orbit and being built in 1971.

25 Series of Landsat satellites (1 – 8) have been orbiting earth and collecting imagery since 1972 with one short gap, and are still operating... Landsat 2 – (1975 – 82) Carried MSS instrument Landsat 3 – (1978 – 83) Carried MSS 1979 – Success of Landsat mission recognized and program declared operational (vs. experimental) Control shifted from NASA to NOAA

26 1978 MSS Image – Karakorum Mts., Chinese border

27 Landsat 4 (1982 – 2001) Carries MSS + new instrument, the Thematic Mapper (TM) TM has more spectral bands than MSS + a thermal band Launched by NASA, operated by NOAA but then operations shift to private company called EOSAT in 1984 In 1998 operation contract transferred to USGS but EOSAT continued to operate satellite and sell the data TM data were very expensive ($5000/scene). Stifled RS applications Licensing restrictions were severe under EOSAT. Land Remote Sensing Policy Act (1992) called for govt. operated Landsat 7. In 2001 operations returned to U.S. govt. and licenses restrictions lifted.

28 Landsat 5 (1984 – 2013) Carried MSS (but turned off in 1995) Carried TM Turned off from Nov 2005 to Jan 2006 due to battery charging issues with solar array Problem solved by engineers and satellite reactivated Oct 2007 imaging suspended due to battery problems Stopped working late in 2011, decommissioned in June 2013.

29 Landsat 5 image: Chinese Himalaya 1999

30 Landsat 6 – (1993) Launched by EOSAT but failed to achieve orbit Carried a new instrument: Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) Landsat 5 was still functioning which prevented a “data gap”

31 Landsat 7 (1999 – present???) Carried Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) May 2003 failure of scan line correction results in very limited useable imagery Landsat 5 again becomes important imagery source

32 Events beginning in May 2003 compromise quality of L7 ETM+


34 In November 2011, Landsat 5 stopped acquiring images after 27 years of service. Was originally designed to last for 3 years. “This anticipated decline of Landsat 5 provides confirmation of the importance of the timely launch of the next Landsat mission and the need for an operational and reliable National Land Imaging System,” stated Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior.”

35 Landsat Timeline (from USGS)

36 Memorandum signed in 2005 called on NASA to develop a Landsat replacement satellite L8 launched on February 11, 2013 Significant data gap for the first time in over 30 years of earth observation between demise of Landsat 5 and launch of Landsat 8 Possible “gap fillers” include India IRS program, French SPOT program, China-Brazil CBERS satellite, others

37 AVHRR launched in 1978 Part of then active TIROS series of satellites Global imagery with a 1 day return time Used extensively for studying global vegetation and the earth system.

38 AVHRR - Katrina

39 1973: First active microwave sensor (Radar) flown on NASA Skylab 1978: Seasat launched (Radar) for ocean studies including winds, sea surface topography, wave studies, etc. 1981: First Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-A) flown on space shuttle. Used for land topography 1991: European Space Agency ERS-1 (radar) put into orbit 1995: ERS-2

40 Radar image: Himalayas

41 Non-radar image of Sahara desert (sand) showing path to be examined with radar Radar swath showing subsurface channels

42 1986: France. First SPOT multispectral satellite launched. SPOT program still active 1988: India. IRS-1A launched. First in ongoing IRS series of satellites 1990: Japan. JERS-1 and 2. 1991: USSR/Russia. Resurs-O satellite launched. Like Landsat. 1992: Ukraine (former Soviet state). OKEAN series with multispectral, radar, thermal begun. 1999: China/Brazil. CBERS satellites (like Landsat). Others: England, Turkey, Nigeria, Thailand, etc.

43  SPOT 1 –In Operational Conditions (turned-off in Feb 02) –Operates in Direct Transmission Mode  SPOT 2 –Full Commercial Service –Operates in Direct Transmission Mode  SPOT 3 –Ceased Operation due to Gyroscope Failure in November 1996  SPOT 4 –Launched in 1998 –Full Commercial Service  SPOT 5  Launched in May 2002

44 INIDAN REMOTE SENSING SATELLITE PROGRAM IRS Program  6 Satellites in orbit  World’s largest Commercial Imagery Provider  IRS-1C, P2, P3, 1D, P4, RESOURCESAT-1  Carosat-1, RESOURCESAT-2 – launch within next two years.  Partnered with Space Imaging since 1994.

45 1999: Aqua and Terra platforms MODIS – Medium/Course resolution multispectral ASTER – High resolution multispectral Many other specialized instruments 2000: Earth Observing Satellite 1 (EO-1) Hyperion – hyperspectral instrument ALI - multispectral

46 MODIS Composite Image, Feb 10, 2014

47 Digital Globe Worldview satellites Space Imaging (now Orbimage) IKONOS satellite Google Google Earth – interface for viewing global RS imagery Microsoft Terraserver – free online image depository Etc.

48 Sand Dunes in Oman, 60cm resolution


50 Increasingly high spatial and spectral resolution imagery Increased use of active (radar and lidar) remote sensing Combination of active remote sensing with spectral analysis (e.g., “Flidar”) Increased use of RS for land management, business and individual activities And currently unforeseen advances…

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