One of the key challenges in a flood involves getting timely and accurate information regarding flood-affected areas. Satellite imagery can mitigate the magnitude of flood damage by providing response teams with an overall image of the flooded area.
Scandicraft, a Norwegian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) service provider, has developed a system that “geotags,” or marks the physical location of, aerial images from a disaster area and uploads the images via satellite link within minutes.
As expressed by the OECD, space can make a valuable contribution to the challenges that may face our societies and governments in the future. Space platforms can monitor air pollution and greenhouse gases for assessment and management, as well as natural disasters, enabling effective responses. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina showcased the use of satellite capabilities for disaster management, communications, monitoring, and search and rescue.
Of growing concern to the international community is orbital debris— ranging from paint flecks to entire upper stages— resulting from half a century of space access. It is estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 objects larger than one centimeter remain in orbit.
The dominant space technology that supports energy and Earth resources is remote sensing. Remote sensing images are not limited to the wavelengths of light that can be seen by the human eye. Earth sensing satellites record primarily microwave, infrared, and visible light wavelengths.