Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Space Station allows remote sensing of Earth to within six meters



Budgetary challenges and research limitations of the International Space Station, which is currently being constructed, are routinely discussed in the media [e.g., Lawler, 2001]. In spite of these challenges, an Earth remote sensing experiment being conducted from the International Space Station, called Crew Earth Observations [Robinson and Evans, 2001], is already yielding significant data returns by using the successful photographic methods employed in earlier Earth imaging programs from the Space Shuttle and Mir Space Station [Lulla and Dessinov, 2000]. Early results show great improvement in our ability to compensate for the relative motion of the Earth and achieve high remote sensing spatial resolution in handheld images. Images captured for Crew Earth Observations have spatial resolutions of less than 6 m, approaching the highest spatial resolution of color images now available from commercial remote sensing satellites.