#12 Topic: Satellites in the Arctic
Lecturer: Marco Vountas
Date: Monday, June 7, 2021 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Studying remote regions that are logistically challenging, inhospitable and even dangerous or expensive to visit might be explored through satellite remote sensing. Satellite remote sensing enables the coverage of large regions to be investigated quickly and at reasonable costs. During the last approx. 40 years spectral and spatial resolution as well as calibration have improved significantly and thus made satellite remote sensing an increasingly valuable tool to be used for Arctic research. In addition regular and repetitive measurements over long period of time enables the detection and analysis of changes. In this respect the mission lifetimes were improved greatly. With increasing emphasis on the importance of data continuity follow-on missions were (and are) created to expand the important time series.Many satellite sensors are in principle valuable for polar research because they are operated in polar orbits. Since their ground tracks converge spatially at high latitudes, most of the Arctic benefits from frequent coverage by the sensors, and polar processes can be studied at reasonable spatial and temporal scales – often better than those in the middle and tropical latitudes. However, polar satellite based research is also confronted with low radiometric contrast between scene types and instruments may be operating at their performance limits.In this lecture, an introduction to satellite remote sensing mainly from polar orbit perspective is given looking at mission measuring mainly in the uv/vis/ir. Important European and US American missions having relevance for (AC)³ research, as well as flagships are presented and recommended for particular purposes.