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A SATELLITE IS an airborne autonomous platform that carries a set of sensors to capture information on the surface of the earth, including vegetation, water masses, ice, and the atmosphere. The scientific and technological field dealing with the conception, design, and control of satellites as well as processing and interpretation of space imaging is remote sensing.

The sensor of the satellite captures energy—electromagnetic radiation—of a certain wavelength and geographical area, producing a scene or image. The sensors capturing the energy reflected or emitted are called “passive,” while those that send the energy that will be returned by the surface and thereafter captured are termed “active,” like in satellites Ra darsat or ERS-2. Active sensors operate in the region of microwave length, which allows them to ...

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