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Sensor Search



To start a search of the sensor and environmental process database, please click the button below.

About the Search Procedure

This search engine has been designed to enable human health investigators to search through a list of 167 current and future satellite instruments to identify those that have potential utility for research, surveillance, risk assessment, prevention, or control of disease transmission. The database is organized by process, sensor type, spatial and temporal resolutions, and status (current, future, by year). The processes, which can be sensed remotely, include those that have been identified by the literature and through expert consultation as those that affect some aspect of disease transmission. These processes include deforestation, forest patches, and vegetation green-up. The results of each database search will include a list sensors that satisfy the search criteria; these sensors, in turn, will be linked to other pages that describe them as well as provide pointers to sites where their data products are (or will be) available.

Derived products from remotely sensed data such as precipition, relative humidity, surface winds, etc., can be found on the various Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), but are currently not indexed here.

The simplest type of search uses a process only. When this type of query is submitted, the database is searched for all the remote sensing instruments that match the selected process. More complex searches make use of the additional criteria lists. Using these, the spatial/temporal resolutions and status can be specified to reduce the number of returns from the search. Also, features on the earth's surface can have distinctive spectral reflectance in the panchromatic (PAN), visible/near-infrared (VNIR, 0.4-1.3µm), short-wave infrared (SWIR, 1.3-3µm), thermal infrared (TIR, 3-14µm), and microwave (typically synthetic aperture radar [SAR], 6-24cm) portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Therefore, one might want to limit the database search to those instruments that have been designed to acquire data in the wavelengths of interest, if known.

Some examples: The effects of deforestation have been associated with malaria transmission in the Amazon River basin. Because of the rate of deforestation, the temporal scale of interest would be on the order of a month (or more). An investigator wishing to map the patterns of deforestation for the entire basin would therefore search using the following criteria:

Process type: Deforestation
Sensor type: Any (default)
Spatial resolution (in meters): 1000
Temporal resolution (in days): >30
Status: Current (default)

If the investigator then wanted to identify sensors that could help identify areas of deforestation at the local level in order to direct field surveys, the following criteria would be used:

Process type: Deforestation
Sensor type: Any (default)
Spatial resolution (in meters): 11-30
Temporal resolution (in days): Any (default)
Status: Current (default)


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Last updated: October 2003