Proceedings PaperShuttle Mounted Sensors For The Analysis Of Ocean Phenomena
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The Space Shuttle has proven to be an excellent platform for testing sensors for the analysis of ocean phenomena. The Shuttle provides a manned, stable platform that can be precisely navigated. The ocean monitoring sensors are operated, retrieved, evaluated in the laboratory and reflown. Of major importance is the ability of the astronaut/oceanographer to use his intellect and visual acuity to recognize valuable ocean phenomena and then to interact directly with the sensors. This interaction can include real-time sensor pointing, tuning, and coordination with the ground and ship stations. In the complex task of identifying ocean features from space, man can: make rapid interpretation, evaluate ocean color changes, filter out cloud affects, make geographic location decisions and assess the contrast of subtle ocean features from background. Optional sensor mounting methods have been designed to reduce flight costs and turnaround times necessary for continuing sensor demonstration schedules. The Shuttle platform permits space testing of ocean monitoring sensors without the commitment of long range, expensive, systems programs necessary for stand-alone satellite sensor testing.