Report from Washington, D.C.

Space is Making Us Green

Written by: developer

Space is Making Us Green Satellites provide a wide perspective of Earth that cannot be replicated in any other way. Industries involved in energy, resources, and environmental management are benefiting from developments in satellite technology and services. The following is an edited excerpt from the Space Foundation’s The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity that demonstrates the power of space in these fields.

The Earth’s environment is in constant flux as natural resources are consumed and renewed. Remote sensing satellites, such as those operated by DigitalGlobe and GeoEye, help locate and manage these resources and monitor changes in their availability.

The fishing industry uses remote sensing satellite data to understand ocean conditions and their effect on fisheries. Remote sensing satellites provide real-time data on sea surface temperature and surface winds, and satellites can provide this information via observation from space or by relaying data from ocean-based buoys. Fishermen around the globe now use satellite maps of sea surface temperature, currents, and other ocean conditions, enabling them to save fuel by finding fish in less time.

Environmental monitoring satellites provide decision-makers with critical information on climate change and natural disasters. For example, Earth-observing satellites with direct coastal coverage are being used to monitor the condition of the Gulf of Mexico coast. NASA is using these systems to assess changes in land use and land cover, to develop a tool for data acquisition, display, and visualization of Gulf water quality; and to identify natural oil oozing out from the seabed in the Gulf of Mexico.

In support of the oil and gas industry, a U.K.-based company has used technology from a European gravity mission to use a non-invasive and environmentally-friendly technology to find the most appropriate locations for drilling and to plan further exploration.

This – and much more – information about space and how space affects life on Earth can be found in The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity. To order a copy in book, PDF, or CD format, go to


This article is part of Space Watch: Februrary 2010 (Volume: 9, Issue: 2).