Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 May 2004
Remote sensing provides the means to study features and processes that are not easily accessible or amenable to direct observations. The polar regions, and Antarctica in particular, offer a variety of examples where the ability to observe from afar is necessary or highly desirable. In particular, studies of ice shelf processes, changes in the sea-ice cover, and ice-ocean-atmosphere investigations must rely in large part on measurements from aircraft and satellites. The polar regions present a unique set of problems that complicate applications and limit the usefulness of certain sensors; new instruments planned for launch in the 1990s will help resolve many of these difficulties. Examples of remote sensing applications for the study of the continent, drifting ice, ocean, and atmosphere demonstrate ways that existing data as well as new observations can be used to aid polar research.
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