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A circular describing satellite telemetry systems that can collect and transmit environmental data from remote regions of the world to regional resource information centers has been published by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The 21-page circular attempts to answer the most common questions asked about various satellite data collection systems and discusses three major U.S. government satellite data collection systems presently available for use in North and South America, Landsat, Nimbus F, and the synchronous Meteorological Satellite/Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (SMS/Goes) series, describing their features and limitations and providing suggestions on how to employ them. An extensive bibliography is also provided. The circular notes that rainfall, snowfall, floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and ashfalls, earthquakes, seismic sea waves (tsunami), and iceberg drifts are but a few of the active earth processes that affect man's environment. While satellites provide global imagery of many of these phenomena, the circular says, there is a need for current in situ data (data from environmental sensors on the earth's surface). This current information is critical to the design of regional, national, or even global information systems that are timely and accurate to facilitate modeling and predicting for the future.