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EROS — New observation vantage points and processes

October 3, 1971

The EROS Program objective is to utilize aircraft and spacecraft remote-sensing technology as complementary parts of integrated data collection, processing, and dissemination systems to support resources research and management functions of the Department of the Interior. The Program develops and coordinates research in the applications of new sensors for resources applications in cooperation with NASA. At present there are two major areas of activity: present there are two major areas of activity: The first is related to the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS). The second is a suite of projects designed to determine the applicability of new aerial and satellite sensing systems and techniques to geologic, geographic, hydrologic, and topographic mapping and for supporting natural resources management functions of the Department of the Interior. Programs with similar goals for agriculture and forestry, and for oceanography are being conducted in the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, the Naval Oceanographic Office, and in a number of colleges and universities.

The first satellite designed specifically for resources research and applications, ERTS-A, is to be launched in early 1972. It will be an unmanned satellite carrying three experimental systems: A three camera Return Beam Vidicon (RBV) system, a 4-band Multispectral Scanning (MSS) radiometer system, and a Data Collection System (DCS). The RBV cameras will photograph simultaneously and instantaneously areas of the earth 100 × 100 nautical miles - or 10,000 square nautical miles - in the blue-green (.475-.575mu m), the red (.580-.680mu m), and the near infrared (.690-.830mu m). The MSS will record three wavelength bands in the same general spectral range and the fourth band (8.0 mu m) will extend farther into the infrared...