SYNOPSIS: THIS SATELLITE, NOW IN ORBIT AROUND THE GLOBE, IS CAPABLE OF IMAGING 188 SCENES OF THE EARTH EVERY DAY FROM WHICH PHOTOGRAPHS CAN BE MADE.
Earth Pictures from Space
ERTS model photography
Dr. Nicholas Short sync sound, on camera
Intercut ERTS pictures
Goddard Space Flight Center, MD
Photo lab scenes
Dr. Short on-camera sync
Image analysis lab
Dr. Short sync
Well, ERTS is an acronym. It stands for Earth Resources Technology Satellite. I think the key words there are "earth resources." We're talking about anything on the surface of the earth that's of interest to man and his well being.
...since July the 23rd of this year, 1972, when it was launched. It's been in continual operation, producing literally thousands of pictures of very high quality; pictures of the earth showing areas as large as 12,000 square miles. Typically, one of these pictures is about 115 miles on a side; pictures that show remarkable detail of the general features on the earth's surface.
For example, we can look at the particular growth state of crops in a given region, such as perhaps the wheat fields of the Great Plains. We can make some kind of an assessment as to how far along the growth of wheat is progressing at a given time. We can look at forest areas. For example, areas where clear-cutting has been removing great portions of our national forest, and we can update the changes that are taking place as lumbering and timbering go on. We can look at certain types of pollution. For example, we can look at areas of major cities where water is being emptied into the Atlantic Ocean. And while we can't see the individual pollutants as such, we can see patterns of motion of the water and of the materials being carried into the water, which gives us some general idea of where these water pollutants are going. We can look for mineral deposits. Although we can't see them directly as such, we can find conditions on the surface of the earth related to the geology, that we can pick up and analyze from ERTS, which gives us some idea or insight as to where to go to find possible new mineral deposits.
As we gain experience with the kinds of information we're getting back from ERTS, there is no doubt in my mind that we're going to be able to find direct and indirect applications for just about everyone living on the surface of the earth. With the predictions of an energy crisis, with the problems we've had in the environment itself, with the needs for new raw materials, and better management and utilization of our resources, it's quite obvious to me that something like ERTS and the generation of satellites that will follow ERTS are going to make a real contribution to our way of life.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: SYNOPSIS: THIS SATELLITE, NOW IN ORBIT AROUND THE GLOBE, IS CAPABLE OF IMAGING 188 SCENES OF THE EARTH EVERY DAY FROM WHICH PHOTOGRAPHS CAN BE MADE.
MEET DR. NICHOLAS SHORT, ERTS PROJECT GEOLOGIST AT NASA'S GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER.
IT IS HERE, AT THE GODDARD CENTER THAT THE DATA IS INITIALLY SCREENED. AFTER RECEIVING THE SATELLITE IMAGES AND RECORDING THEM ON VIDEOTAPE...
...THEY ARE THEN TRANSFERRED TO FILM. BLACK AND WHITE, AND SOME COLOUR, DEPENDING ON THE NEEDS OF THE USERS. THE PHOTO LAB DEVELOPS, HANDLES QUALITY CONTROL, AND ASSESSES EACH PICTURE FOR CLOUD COVER.
THERE ARE SOME THREE HUNDRED INVESTIGATORS AROUND THE WORLD RECEIVING ERTS IMAGES ROUTINELY. THEIR JOB IS TO ANALYZE THE PICTURES ACCORDING TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL SPECIALITIES TO FIND OUT WHAT KINDS OF PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED BY ERTS.
MANY TIMES, BY ADDING FALSE COLOURS, CERTAIN POINTS CAN BE BROUGHT OUT BETTER. THAT'S WHAT'S BEING DONE HERE IN THE IMAGE ANALYSIS LAB. THIS SCIENTIST IS USING A COLOUR ADDITIVE VIEWER TO ADD IN OR MIX COLOURS. THE TRIAL AND ERROR PROCESS HAS PROVED USEFUL IN CLARIFYING DESERT AREAS OR VEGETATION, MAKING THEM STAND OUT MORE CLEARLY. ONCE AGAIN, DR. SHORT.
EARTH RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY SATELLITE...A NEW SPACECRAFT ATTEMPTING TO ???ROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE HERE ON EARTH.