Report: Energy from Space

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  • Report: Energy from SpaceAuthor(s): Ray HarrisSource: Area, Vol. 15, No. 2 (1983), pp. 143-144Published by: The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)Stable URL: .Accessed: 17/06/2014 05:00

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  • Rethinking Soviet population policy 143

    Perevedentsev, V. (1979) 'Rastem ot goda k godu my....', Literaturnaya gazeta 40, 12

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    2, 3-8

    Rybakovsky, L. L. (1981) 'O migratsii naseleniya v SSSR', Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya 4, 7-14 Ryurikov, Y. B. (1981) ' Deti-Tvortsy lyodei ', 77-85, in Kiseleva, G. P. (ed.) Demografy dumayot sporyat

    sovetuyot (Moscow) Smith, G. E. (1981) 'The need for a new Soviet population policy', Geography 66, 124-7

    Taaffe, R. N. (1980) 'Soviet regional development', 155-78 in Cohen, S. F. (ed.) The Soviet Union since

    Stalin (London) Tauber, N. A. (1974) 'Usloviya zhizni sem'i srednee chislo detei', Narodonaselenie: demograficheskii analiz

    rozhdaemosti (Moscow) Tsentralnoe statisticheskoe upravlenie SSSR (1980) Naselenie SSSR. Po dannym vsesoyoyoznoi perepisi

    naseleniya 1979goda (Moscow) Tsentralnoe statisticheskoe upravienie SSSR (1981), Narodnoe khozyaistvo SSSR v 1980g. (Moscow) Urlanis, B. (1975) Problemy dinamiki naseleniya (Moscow) Urlanis, B. (1980) ' Demograficheskaya nauka i demograficheskaya politika ', Vestnik AN SSSR 1, 41-49

    Valentei, D. I. (1977) Osnovy teorii narodonaseleniya (Moscow) Valentei, D. I. (1981) '250,000,000: kommentarii, problemy, prognozy' 23-44 in Kiseleva, G. P. (ed.)

    Demografy dumayot sporyat sovetuyot (Moscow) Vishneviskii, A. G. (1976) Demograficheskaya revolyutsiya (Moscow) Zinchenko, I. (1982) ' Natsionalnyi sostav naseleniya SSSR', Vestnik statistiki 6, 23-9

    Energy from space

    Report of the US National Conference on Energy Resource Management held at Baltimore, Maryland, 9-12 September, 1982.

    This second US National Conference on Energy Resource Management had as its theme the integration of remotely sensed data with geographical information systems for application in energy resource management. The practical management of environmental resources needs precise and accurate information on which to base decisions about energy use, availability and potential problems. Remote sensing, often through image processing, provides a powerful tool to provide this information and, when combined with other forms of geocoded data in a geo graphical information system, many questions concerning the use and potential of terrain tracts in relation to energy needs can be answered. This conference addressed the variety of techniques, data bases, structures and applications which are needed to integrate successfully the disparate forms of spatial data which can assist the management of the different types of energy resources.

    The conference was jointly sponsored by the Energy Planning Division of the American Planning Association and the Eastern Regional Remote Sensing Center of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in cooperation with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the US Region of the Remote Sensing Society. It was the first conference organised by this branch of the Society and the arrangements in the Hilton Hotel were superb.

    The first events of the meeting were pre-conference workshops which introduced participants to issues of energy resource management and remote sensing, but the first full day saw the keynote address by John McElroy, Assistant Administrator for Satellites at NOAA. McElroy compared the crucial importance of the weather satellite programme in which data must be pro vided operationally, with the development nature of the work done with Landsat data: if Landsat data were temporarily unavailable this would be inconvenient; if weather satellite data became temporarily inavailable this would be catastrophic as hurricane warnings and weather forecasting

    would be seriously impaired. McElroy outlined the schemes for privatising both the US land and weather satellite programmes. He saw in the long term an assured supply of operational

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  • 144 Energy from space

    remote sensing data for land, ocean and weather uses, and a companion research programme by US government agencies on the uses of remote sensing. This assurance was welcome to those who later discussed the uses of remote sensing in energy resource management, and gave the background to those presenting data processing methods and applications of the technology.

    The first main paper session of the conference gave examples of applications of remotely sensed data and geographic information systems. The best of these papers was by Janette Gervin (NASA) who showed some Thematic Mapper Simulator data and the effects of data compression and band selection, and an example of Landsat 4 Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery of the Detroit region. The next session was a tour deforce of integration of data sources, and was a three-hour presentation of a project performed for the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company mainly by staff of NASA's Eastern Regional Remote Sensing Center. Bill Campbell led the team in describ ing the range of processing which was performed to provide terrain cover maps of Pennsylvania to assist in energy resource management, and in his presentation he showed some excellent Land sat 4 TM imagery of Baltimore. The first evening session consisted of three concurrent sessions, including a Landsat users' forum given by two NOAA representatives. Much of the material presented was already well known, but Dan Cotter expanded on the definition of the basic data set for Landsat 4 MSS and the intention to provide digital data on floppy disks as a standard Landsat product. The costs of TM data are not yet determined, but they are likely to be between three and five times the cost of MSS data. NOAA's operational cost in running the MSS alone is approximately $25 million annually, and the cost of running the MSS and TM together is approximately $40 million a year.

    The second principal day of the conference opened with a single session on the uses of remote sensing and geographic information systems for integration and modelling. This session showed the direction in which integration can be developed to assist quantitative combination of different data sources by mathematical modelling so that reliable prediction can be performed. The rest of the day saw a series of concurrent sessions on various aspects of the main theme: environmen tal analysis, power plant siting, data bases, international perspectives, geology, reclamation and surface mining. This galaxy of sessions was simply too large to take in, and was my only criticism of the conference: it was often impossible to attend more than one quarter of the papers on offer. However, the response to the call for papers was so good that this situation is difficult to avoid for a successful conference.

    At the final session Phil Cressy of NASA spoke about future technology and NASA's research orientation; Dick Kott of the US Department of Energy spoke on the integration of spatial analy sis tools and spatial data for answering energy-related problems; and I spoke on the conference theme in relation to Europe and the developing world. The discussion expanded from these points to show the needs of users to access remotely sensed data through geographical infor mation systems, and the need for such systems to be defined more clearly. For new users the size and complexity of remotely sensed data may be too daunting to see the conclusions which can be reached, and further education and demonstration are certainly needed. There will be further opportunity for such dissemination at next year's conference on the same theme.

    Ray Harris University of Durham

    Errata 1. The Table of Contents for Area 15:1 omitted the following:

    29. The contribution of UK geographers to remote sensing P3 7Curran and N WWardley

    The page reference for Computing for geographers C D Beaumont should have been 23 and not 29.

    2. The following were omitted from the list of committee members of the Urban Geography Study Group: Prof B. T. Robson (Manchester, 1985) and Dr D. A. Kirby (Lampeter, 1985).

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    Article Contentsp. 143p. 144

    Issue Table of ContentsArea, Vol. 15, No. 2 (1983), pp. 97-176Front MatterRegional Variations in House Prices and House Price Inflation 1969-81 [pp. 97-109]Report: Research Design in Geomorphology [pp. 109-110]The Usefulness of System Theory in Ecosystem Studies [pp. 111-116]Report: A Basinful in Berne [pp. 116-117]Comment: Discussion Arising from Papers in "Area"Geography and Geomorphology: Alternatives to G. H. Dury [pp. 118-125]Revolutions and Research Programmes [pp. 125-132]Use of the Cone Penetrometer [pp. 132-135]

    Report: Historical Geography on the Move [pp. 135-136]Rethinking Soviet Population Policy [pp. 137-143]Report: Energy from Space [pp. 143-144]Errata: The Contribution of UK Geographers to Remote Sensing [p. 144-144]From Flint to Soweto: Reflections on the Colonial Origins of the Apartheid City [pp. 145-149]The Chemical Weathering of Limestone [p. 150-150]News from Council [pp. 151-152]Participants Observed [pp. 153-159]Report: Data for Industrial Research [pp. 159-160]Community Opposition to Hostels for Single Homeless Men [pp. 161-166]ReportsQuantitative and Theoretical Geography in Europe [pp. 166-167]Regional Science [p. 168-168]Earth Surface Processes and Engineering Geomorphology [pp. 169-173]

    ObservationInstitutional Threats to Research and Academic Merit [pp. 174-176]

    Back Matter


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