You are using an outdated browser that does not fully support the intranda viewer.
As a result, some pages may not be displayed correctly.

We recommend you use one of the following browsers:

Full text

Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring

Peter M.P. Norris, Executive Vice President
Richard P. Mroczynski, Director, External Affairs
Earth Observation Satellite Company
4300 Forbes Blvd.
Lanham, MD 20706 USA
(301) 552-0545
In the mid-1970s the remote sensing user community was concerned about the continued availability of remote
sensing data from space. This concern was centered around the issue of sustained U.S. government support
for future Landsat missions. To a lesser extent during this same period, users were concerned about the
stability of a computer compatible tape (CCT) format. Although during this period CCT use was subordinate
to photographic hard copy, the tape format had been modified by the government at frequent intervals and
was an issue to digital data users.
By the mid-1980s the issue of data availability from space had lessened in importance. The Landsat system
was joined by operational remote sensing missions sponsored by the French, Japanese, and Indians. All these
systems were capable of delivering high quality digital data. The meaning of data continuity was now more
directed to the continuity of data format. It was obvious by the close of the decade that data availability was
no longer the issue that it had been ten years earlier. Utilization of digital data had increased. Personal
computers were common tools in the work place, and many had image processing capabilities far exceeding
those available in the 1970s. The user community concern was now directed toward the stability of data
The list of potential remote sensing missions operating by the mid-1990s should completely negate the issue
of continued data availability. The real issue in the 1990s will revolve around the users ability to integrate the
different data types delivered by these various remote sensing missions. This issue will become more important
as concern about the global environment heightens. Remote sensing systems, continue to become more
important to the study of the global environment because they provide the only source of timely, quantifiable
By the mid-1990s remote sensing data will be available from a variety of active and passive sensor systems,
operated by governments and private industry. The users community will be faced with multiple data types
and formats. The users community will be faced with multiple data types and formats. Todays conventional
wisdom about data formats seeks to include all possible data into a ’single’ archive format. However, these
single archive formats are counter productive for customers wanting to quickly extract information from the
data. EOSAT has selected a simple to use data format that permits the customer to rapidly access and begin
to process the data. The new "Fast Format" should be just as acceptable to the data archivist, because there
are no expansive, difficult to interpret header records to maintain.
EOSAT believes that the commercial data users will demand products that are easy to access. Current remote
sensing data formats are cumbersome and inefficient from the users perspective. International committees
which recommend data formats are motivated by archiving objectives which are not necessarily compatible with
data users requirements. These bodies do not represent a commercial interest and over the long term do not
represent the data users best interests. This paper will discuss EOSAT’s plans for the future and its plans to
introduce new digital products.