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31 December 1997 Overview of international remote sensing through 2007
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The field of Earth remote sensing is evolving from one that contains purely governmental and military standalone systems of high complexity and expense to one that includes an increasing number of commercial systems, focused missions using small satellites, and systems of lower complexity and cost. The evolution of the field from 1980 - 2007 is summarized in this paper, with emphasis on the rapid changes of international scope that are taking place in 1997 which will shape the future of the field. As of three years ago, seven counties had built and flown free-flying earth observation satellite systems. Projections are for the number of countries operating such systems to approximately double by three years from now. Rapid changes are taking place in terms of spatial resolution, spectral resolution, proliferation of small satellites, ocean color, commercialization and privatization. Several fully commercial high-resolution systems will be launched over the next three years. Partly commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems became a reality with the launch of Radarsat in 1995. Only a handful of small satellite remote sensing missions have been launched to date, while a large number will be launched over the next few years, including minisats from Australia, Brazil, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the USA, as well as microsats from many countries including Malaysia, Pakistan and South Africa. Systems with far greater spectral resolution will also become a reality as hyperspectral instruments are launched. In 1997, we truly stand on the cusp of tremendous change in the burgeoning field of Earth remote sensing.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David L. Glackin "Overview of international remote sensing through 2007", Proc. SPIE 3221, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites, (31 December 1997);

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