INTERNATIONAL EARTH REMOTE SENSING PROJECT
Development of Earth sciences, including those concerning the problem of global changes, requires further comprehension of observation and data processing instruments. Due to the global character of the data required spaceborne equipment of Earth research is of special significance.
Nowadays in a number of countries in addition to special spaceborne equipment of Earth observation (meteorological systems NOAA and METEOR, terrestrial surface investigation systems Landsat, Spot, etc.) scientific programs are being designed and created aimed at Earth processes investigations (EOS, TOPEX/POSEIDON, TRMM, etc.) or at the development of observation equipment (ERS-1, JERS-1, POEM-1, RADARSAT).
International Earth remote sensing complex project "PRIRODA" program is developed on the base of the special module, which is to be jointed to the "MIR" orbital station. "PRIRODA" module is supposed to be launched to the orbit near to circular with its height nearly 360 km over the Earth surface and inclination of 51.7o. The "PRIRODA" project, having research character, is aimed at the development of observation and interpretation means of space monitoring data. It is one of the important Earth remote sensing projects being developed at the moment in various countries.
The "PRIRODA" module is planned to be launched and jointed to the "MIR" station in April 1996, and scientific experiments are to be carried out in 1996-1998.
One of the main features of the "PRIRODA" project is the possibility to observe one and the same element of the Earth surface using different equipment of both active and passive sounding in microwave and optical bands. This allows the multisensor data analysis as well as the correction (atmospheric, surface, etc.) required be fulfilled and the independent evaluations of geophysical parameters be obtained, so that the improvement of space measurements accuracy and the reliability of data interpretation are expected.
The composition of scientific equipment and the tactical parameters of separate devices were chosen basing on the geophysical parameters measurement accuracy demands accounting for the existing technological facilities. It is worth mentioning that at that time a definite experience of joint usage of various remote sensing devices was gained. Experiments at American "Skylab" and "Seasat" satellites showed that conjunction of active and passive radiophysical devices and of microwave and optical devices, gives the opportunity to increase the measurements accuracy and to acquire new important information about the natural objects geophysical parameters and status.
Radiophysical complex consists of:
"Ikar" microwave radiometric system includes :
Spectrometric systems in visible and infrared range consist of:
Infrared spectroradiometric system "Istok-1" is 64-channel spectrometer-polychromator working at 3.6 - 16 mm. The "Istok-1" system contains a TV-camera, which can operate in autonomic mode.
Scanning spectroradiometric system "MOS-Obzor" has 17 channels at 0.4-1.03 *.
Spectrometer "Ozone-M" has 4-channel at ultra-violet, visible and near infrared wavelengths.
The composition of scientific equipment existing on the PRIRODA module allows to carry out the observation of the Earth surface with the spatial resolution to 25 m (MSU-E).
At present the decision was decided to include the German device MOMS-2P in the composition of the PRIRODA module scientific equipment. The inclusion in the PRIRODA module equipment of the German device MOMS-2P will permit to carry out the observation of the Earth surface with the spatial resolution to 5 m. Moreover the experimental data informativity will be extremely enlarged owing to the stereochannel existing in MOMS-2P. The using of this unique device in the land surface investigations tasks will give the possibility to obtain the new important experimental data which will permit to improve the data interpretation, to increase the quality of the thematic experimental information processing.
Due to great number of different types of remote sensing equipment used, covering practically whole EM radiation spectrum (from UF wavelengths to decimeter of microwave band ), various types of practically all nature objects investigations are possible. So "PRIRODA" complex in some cases is capable of solving two problems: comprehension of remote sensing methods and investigation of nature processes as well.
The investigations which will be carried out in the frame of the PRIRODA Project scientific program have fundamental, applied and systematic character.
Of fundamental essence are experiments concerning investigations of cloudiness field, oceanic surface temperature field, large-scale atmosphere circulation, interaction between atmosphere and ocean, etc. They are in agreement with existing great International programs for climate studying: Global Changes (IGBP), TOGA, Global Energy and Water Experiment (GEWEX) and others.
Experiments having applied character are those connected with ecological research, including atmospheric, oceanic and land pollution investigations, with developing methods of monitoring of separate regions in favor of agriculture, hydrology, engineering geology, etc.
Systematic investigations are directed on the development of remote sensing technique. As a rule they will be carried out in the frame of the general investigation programs. However the special programs are existed which have only systematic essence.
The planned directions of the PRIRODA Project investigations can be outlined on investigation objects - land surface, ocean, atmosphere. Ecological investigations which have particular importance are distinguished in the special part.
The scientific and applied goals of the remote experiments to a great extent depend on the spatial and temporal scales of the changeability of investigated fields, objects, processes. In this connection the separate programs on methods of survey areas and on used measurements equipment can be connected for carrying out of the measurements. For the most complete decision of the putted scientific problems it is supposed the coordination of the carried out within the PRIRODA Project experiments with the Russian "Ocean", "Resurs", "Meteor" programs, American-Japan TRMM program, GEWEX Continental-Scale International Project (GCIP), etc.
 Complex of Remote Sensing of the Earth PRIRODA. Scientific program. Version 2. Moscow, 1993.
 Complex of Remote Sensing of the Earth PRIRODA. Scientific program. Proposals of Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, USA, Czechoslovakia, France, Switzerland. Moscow, 1993.
For detaled information about PRIRODA project, please send e-mail to Mikhail Smirnov
PRIRODA Home Page
IRE RAN 1996, Moscow, Russia. SMIS IKI RAN 1996, Moscow, Russia.