Satellite Observations of the Earth/Atmosphere/Ocean/Biosphere

Typical Exam Questions

1. Satellites

2. List and discuss two distinct uses for numerical (not image) data from satellites.

3. Describe the differences in orbit and view of the earth from geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites.

4. Use your knowledge of Earth satellites to design a satellite observing system for Mars. The radius of Mars is about 1/2 of Earth's radius and its mass is about 10% of Earth's mass. You may not remember specific formulas, but give physical reasoning about the necessary factors to consider.

5. You want to place a satellite in geostationary orbit over Mars. Explain how you would determine the height above the planet surface for such a satellite. What additional information might you need?

6. You want to map details about the surface and weather conditions over the polar ice fields on Mars. Give reasons why your geostationary satellite is not the best choice for this project.

7. You, as governor of Iowa, are approached by a satellite salesman who offers to put a geostationary satellite in low earth orbit (530 miles) over Iowa to monitor the corn and soybean crops by use of a radar to measure vegetation index. Your agriculture advisor encourages you to put up the money since it would give Iowa farmers an edge in monitoring the health of their crops. You agree, but insist on certain design changes. List the necessary changes to make the project work.