Posts Tagged ‘wave conditions’
What are some of the advantages of using satellites for oceanographic research? Are there any disadvantages?
With technological advances like satellites, oceanographers around the world are rapidly beginning to conduct research in more efficient ways. Researchers are finding that satellites allow them to study various components of the ocean waters from the comfort of their own computers, versus having to travel thousands of miles to conduct their studies. This is a huge advantage because researchers are able to collect large amounts of data from the satellite collection in a matter of seconds instead of having to manually acquire data. Not only do satellites provide for efficient use of time but they also enable researchers to accomplish more research with fewer discrepancies and erroneous data. Satellites are allowing oceanographers to use the data captured by satellites to research the temperature of the sea surface, sea-ice concentrations, water turbidity, surface wind and wave conditions, ocean currents and tides, and the topography of the ocean floor (Pinet, 2008). Today’s satellites are so advanced that they are equipped with a variety of sensors, including radar emitters and detectors, laser reflectors, altimeters (a device to measure altitude), cameras that detect visible light, infrared(heat), and microwave radiation (Pinet, 2008). The capabilities that satellites have also provide researchers with the advantage of gathering information on a specific topic from various sources. A disadvantage of using satellites for oceanographic research is that in the years to come, satellites will only become more high-tech, leaving those less technically savvy behind. Researchers are going to have to possess the technical satellite knowledge to be able to control and obtain the information required to conduct research. Also, what would happen if for some reason, a primary satellite were to have to go down or give incorrect data? Oceanographic research would be affected tremendously and production would come to a halt. Oceanographers would have to rely on their field skills to manually acquire data again.
Pinet P.R. (2008). Invitation to Oceanography (5th ed.). Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.