Technology

SmallSat Cameras for Monitoring Ecology and Conservation

SmallSat Cameras for Monitoring Ecology and Conservation

Space technology is developing at a very rapid pace. One of the many modern inventions that will improve the possibilities of observation technologies is SmallSat cameras. As these cameras and other space techs are growing more advanced, machines are also growing more powerful and smaller, which allows us to gather more detailed data and information about our planet at much lower costs.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of the SmallSat cameras for monitoring ecology and conservation.

Why Is Space Tech Getting Smaller?

At first, early satellite models were used to support heavy and enormous payloads, like the first satellite cameras. Moving ahead, experts and scientists started building smaller tools for observation. By the late 1990s, the first prototypes of the modern nanosatellites were developed by American researchers, and they have grown in complexity and popularity ever since. The prototype was developed based on the weight and volume of the SmallSat cameras.

Modern satellites weigh between 50 and 100 kg, while the camera payloads do not weigh more than 10 kg. Since these cameras were relatively small, building them also became very affordable. You could purchase the required parts separately and at a very cheap rate, and it allowed independent research bodies and universities with less funding to create these satellites.

Ecological Monitoring – What Is It?

The first thing we need to learn and understand is – what is ecological monitoring? Ecological can be defined as the scientific method of taking repeated and systematic measurements of environmental conditions. Typically, you will use the same measurement method of the same place many times to make long-term comparisons.

So, why is ecological monitoring critical? The ecosystem is fragile and can be stressed by several variables like contaminants, nutrients, sediment deposits, climate change, and human activities. Monitoring the ecology will allow us to keep track of the changes in the environment and also help us understand how our actions can affect the environment. Long-term monitoring is preferred over short-term monitoring, as the former yields more valuable insights than the latter.

Different Types of Environmental Monitoring

So, what are the four types of environmental monitoring? Now that you know the meaning of ecological monitoring meaning, let us look into these four types of environmental monitoring via SmallSat camera:

1. Air Monitoring

Air pollutants can be pretty harmful to human and environmental health. Since air quality defines our health, it is essential to monitor the air. Software and sensors are used to measure and report various types of pollutants in the air like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc.

2. Water Monitoring

Since water is essential for life on Earth, all bodies of water should be monitored to be safe, clean, and drinkable. Additionally, the water should also support biodiversity and marine life. Measuring and monitoring water levels can help us understand when the thresholds are crossed, like pH levels, chemical contaminations, dissolved oxygen, etc.

3. Noise Monitoring

Sound is just as important as a sight for some animals today, like cetaceans. If whales are unable to communicate, it can put them in danger. Noise on land can disrupt wildlife and also the living quality of humans. Therefore, you need to use software and sensors to measure the noise levels in real-time.

4. Biodiversity Monitoring

Biodiversity represents the population of animal and plant species on Earth. Due to climatic changes, we have lost a lot of animal and plant biodiversity. Monitoring biodiversity will show us how human activities can impact the environment. These species are monitored briefly to analyze how various activities can affect them.

SmallSat Cameras for Monitoring Ecology and Conservation

You will find many ecological monitoring methods in today’s time. Remote sensing has a great potential to provide information on the ecosystem and biological diversity at multiple temporal or spatial scales. Remote sensing can help identify ecosystem threats to better aid in monitoring conservation and ecology.

The traditional way to learn how to monitor biodiversity includes coordinating research and monitoring the efforts to save ecology and biodiversity. In short, you will have to seek out relevant information from ground-based methodologies. On the other hand, environmental remote sensing follows the disciplines of engineering and geography.

With the aid of satellite technology today, we can easily monitor any given area’s environment and ecology. The cameras can track the mercury levels in the soil and water, allowing scientists and experts to measure the composition of the given area. When it comes to biodiversity, a satellite camera can also aid in finding new colonies and species simply by studying the natural environment. With the help of this method, you will be able to identify and categorize all endangered plant and animal species.

Yes, we do understand the importance of ecological monitoring. However, it does have its share of challenges as well. Let us take something straightforward as an example. You can take pictures of a particular area to study the biodiversity. However, a simple fog or other natural phenomena can obscure the environment. This problem often leads us to think about why most conservation monitoring is but need not be a waste of time.

As you can see, SmallSat cameras are handy for monitoring conservation and ecology. In today’s time, our environment has become more critical than ever; therefore, we need to do everything in our power to conserve our ecology. With the help of remote sensing technology, we can do precisely this.

About the author

Ombir Sharma

Ombir is a SEO Executive at The Next Hint Media, Inc. He is a SEO and writer has 2 years of experience in these respective fields. He loves spending his time in doing research on different topics.

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