This report concerns the progress in remote sensing during the period 1972–1976. Remote sensing has been variously defined but is basically the art or science of telling something about an object without touching it.
During the past four years, the major research thrusts have been in three areas:
(1) computer-assisted enhancement and interpretation systems;
(2) earth science applications of Landsat data;
(3) and investigations of the usefulness of observations of luminescence, thermal infrared, and microwave energies.
Based on the data sales at the EROS Data Center, the largest users of the Landsat data are industrial companies, followed by government agencies (both national and foreign), and academic institutions.
Thermal surveys from aircraft have become largely operational, however, significant research is being undertaken in the field of thermal modeling and analysis of high altitude images. Microwave research is increasing rapidly and programs are being developed for satellite observations. Microwave research is concentrating on oil spill detection, soil moisture measurement, and observations of ice distributions. Luminescence investigations offer promise for becoming a quantitative method of assessing vegetation stress and pollutant concentrations.