NASA's Earth Sciences program is primarily focused on providing high quality data products to its science community. NASA also recognizes the need to increase its involvement with the general public, including areas of information and education. Many different Earth-sensing satellites, with diverse sensors mounted on sophisticated platforms, are in Earth orbit or soon to be launched. These sensors are designed to cover a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum and are generating enormous amounts of data that must be processed, stored, and made available to the user community.
This rich source of unique, repetitive, global coverage produces valuable data and information for applications as diverse as forest fire monitoring and grassland inventory in Mongolia, early typhoon warning over the vast Pacific Ocean, flood assessment in coastal zones around the Bay of Bengal, and crop health and growth within the plains of the United States. Additionally, the commercial realm is also developing and launching various high resolution satellites and marketing these data worldwide.
The Applied Information Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is heavily involved in technology outreach and transfer. As part of this activity, we recognized the need for a highly intuitive, easily accessible remote sensing tutorial that hopefully will serve as a primer for the new user as well as a teaching tool for the educational community. We wanted this tutorial to provide a detailed understanding of the utility of the data in light of the fundamental principles of electromagnetic energy, especially as they relate to sensor design and function.
Enter Dr. Nicholas Short, a former NASA Goddard employee and author/editor of four NASA-sponsored books (Mission to Earth: Landsat Views the World; The Landsat Tutorial Workbook; The HCMM Anthology; and Geomorphology from Space) germane to the subject of remote sensing. We asked Nick if he would be willing to put his significant experience and talents to work to present an updated and expanded version of his past efforts. The result is this CD-ROM (also on the Internet) entitled "The Remote Sensing Tutorial". As the CD/Net versions progressed, we were joined by the Air Force Academy as a co-sponsor in supporting the later phases of the project. We trust you will find it informative and useful, and when you are done, please pass it on to a colleague or friend. Remember, think globally and act locally.
William J. Campbell
Applied Information Sciences Branch
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771