What is Remote Sensing?
"Remote" means far away. Remote sensing means sensing things from a distance. Of our five senses we use three as remote sensors when we:
a. watch a football game from the stands (sense of sight)
b. smell freshly baked bread in the oven (sense of smell)
c. hear a telephone ring (sense of hearing)
What are our other two senses and why aren't they used "remotely"?
In the world of science, "remote sensing" means observing the Earth with sensors from high above its surface. They are like cameras except that they use not only visible light but also other bands of the electromagnetic spectrum such as infrared, radar and ultraviolet. Because they are so high up, these sensors can make images of a very large area, sometimes a whole province.
Today, remote sensing, also known as Earth Observation, is often done from space using satellites. Many countries including Canada have them. Hundreds of images are sent every day from the satellites to receiving stations on Earth. The Earth's entire surface is imaged every week or so. Can you imagine how these images could be used?
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