October 23, 2021

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Integrating diverse satellite images sharpens our picture of activity on Earth (op-ed)

5 min read


Amanda Ziemann is a remote sensing scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. She contributed this article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Being able to accurately detect changes to Earth’s surface using satellite imagery can aid in everything from climate change research and farming to human migration patterns and nuclear nonproliferation. But until recently, it was impossible to flexibly integrate images from multiple types of sensors — for example, ones that show surface changes (such as new building construction) versus ones that show material changes (such as water to sand). Now, with a new algorithmic capability, we can — and in doing so, we get a more frequent and complete picture of what’s happening on the ground.



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