As Michel Verstraete said, “If you have control of your own satellites, you don’t have to ask your friends or your enemies” .We need to prepare our owned satellite or if we have only small capital, we can make our own small-vehicle-sensor or UAV. Addedd with thermal infrared sensor to enable monitor the water utilize, top soil and land surface temperature, plants condition, paddy field, and water consumption in agricultural fields, and others.
We need to keep our intention in the continuity of agricultural and vegetation monitoring in the age of increasing population. Regarding this issues, Landsat 4 to Landsat 7 ETM+ had provided us with high valuable remotely-sensed images for neary 30 years. However now Landsat optical sensor face the problems with SLC-Off. With 7 billion of world population, the continuity of earth monitoring have been prepared by NASA for lauch Landsat 8 or Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). It is scheduled for launch by NASA earlier than January 2013.
The sensor will have 12 band and according to NASA: “The centerpiece of the LDCM space segment is the OLI (Operational Land Imager). By collecting land-surface data with spatial resolution and spectral band specifications consistent with historical Landsat data, the OLI instrument will advance future measurement capabilities. The OLI will feature two additional spectral channels: a “ultra-blue” band for coastal and aerosol studies, and a band for cirrus cloud detection. A thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) will collect data in two long wavelength bands that will be co-registered with OLI data.”
Can you find something in the above statements from NASA? Yes, the spatial resolution is still same with the previous Landsat 7,to keep the continuity of earth monitoring. I think it is good to keep this spatial resolution of multispectral band, but increase the panchromatic band to 10 meters at least is better.Continuity is important but competitiveness with the latest commercial platforms is also important. With the wide swath of Landsat, it will make us have better understanding in regional analysis than in small scale study area, with lower cost surely.
Back to our first concern, have control of our own sensor is the best things ever! With the low cost, easy operation, high spatial resolution, high accuracy, and can give more benefit for poor people such as farmer in agricultural fields in Indonesia. We do not have to buy from “our enemy”, we can provide our peoples with good images for monitor and control their environments for their own good. We can run it continuity and give it free for everyone! we can monitor deforestation from illegal expansion of plantation and forest industry, impact to local climate, changes in cropping systems and irrigation practices and give better solution, predicting drought earlier and prevent from starving disaster , conversion of land from its natural stated, and managed and control the urban growth.
We need to prepare our own small-vehicle-sensor to feed our peoples, increase their prosperity, welfare, their joy of life. and UAV is the best choice I think. Indonesian’s remote sensing scientist need to focus to this area than focus on satellite orbiting the earth. We need to much money to launch the satellite, and our political condition will not support us for this reason. Building a satellite is not an easy work, we need collaboration and involves the hard work of many different types of scientist and engineers. The process involves defining the satellite requirements, testing the design, building the instruments and satellite, testing the instruments and satellite, integrating the satellite and instruments together, launching the satellite, and then operating the satellite once it reaches its orbit. Too much work for the fast development, increasing population, and dramatically changing of our nation.
In the future I have plan to build Geo-science Institute, but this institute is not for who wants to get academic title, degree, or diploma, but for everyone who wants to be enterpreuneur and build the welfare country, we need to be free from capitalist!