Technology has enabled us to use many fantastic things. Some are right in front of us, and thus we can appreciate them easily. Some technological solutions, such as satellites, help us every day, yet we forget about them. That is quite natural, as we don’t see the vast amount of satellites floating above us. We will tell you about the many benefits of global satellite use.
When was the last time you saw a satellite? Well, we haven’t seen any in a long time either. Apart from satellite dishes hanging on houses, the actual workhorses are orbiting the Earth high above use. They don’t get a lot of praise, but they are incredibly helpful to facilitate everyday life as we know and love it.
If you are not hip to what the applications of satellite use even are, let’s start with the basics. A satellite is essentially a self-contained system of communication floating around the globe.
It can receive signals from the Earth and then retransmit them as needed. The device does this by using a transponder. That is an integrated receiver and transmitter that operates via radio signals. Satellites are made of lightweight, durable materials.
The cost of launching one into space can be high. It is mostly dependent upon the weight of the device. Also, it is very hard to repair them once they are up, so they have to be extremely reliable.
There are different kinds of satellites, depending on their application. What are those? Let’s go over the many possible satellite uses.
Benefits of Satellites – How We Use Them Daily
Satellites are widely used to send TV signals into homes. You may have seen things looking like large dishes on houses; these are satellite signal receivers. It’s little known that they are also responsible for ensuring the smooth working of network and cable TV.
The central station generates programming and sends them out to smaller stations; then, the signal is sent out via cables or airwaves. The central station broadcasts its main signal to local stations with the help of special satellites. Live broadcasts, such as live weather reports, also make use of satellite services.
The Navstar Global Positioning System may not ring a bell, but its abbreviation sure will – GPS. It is a satellite-based navigation system that allows anyone with a suitable receiver to determine their location.
Nowadays, most people use phones as receivers. The apps inside the handheld devices make things very simple, but note that one has to turn on the location-based services setting. That allows your phone to connect to a satellite.
The military also widely uses GPS systems, especially when it comes to navigating on sea or in the air. Ship crews in adverse weather conditions rely heavily on GPS navigation.
Amongst the various types and uses of satellites, monitoring the weather is a significant one. They help meteorologists to check on the weather globally.
Meteorologists can keep track of the effects of different phenomena such as burning gas, oil fields, and volcanic eruptions.
Satellites also help to see how large-scale hurricanes develop. By doing this, professionals can gauge the direction and strength of violent weather conditions.
That is incredibly important to be able to warn people before a strong storm hits. Essentially, satellites help save lives.
Long-Term Climate Change
Aside from being reliable sources of information on immediate weather conditions, satellites help observe the long-term changes of climate change.
Satellites can monitor ocean currents, as well as the temperature of the water. Due to them, we know that the ocean has been rising around 3mm per year for the last decade.
Measuring the changing sizes of glaciers is a difficult thing to do in person. With the help of satellites, we can do that remotely. On top of that, these capable devices can help us determine vegetation coverage, long-term rainfall patterns, the emission of greenhouse gasses, and a lot more prevalent data on what is happening on our Earth.
Satellites can also aid us in finding underground mineral and water sources; check the transfer of contaminants and nutrients from land into water streams; measure land temperatures, and measure topsoil erosion. Another, perhaps unusual use of satellites is in checking large-scale fuel pipelines for leaks.
On land, it would require enormous amounts of effort. From the sky, data can be collected immediately. It is an incredibly efficient way of keeping track of things.
Satellites can produce high-resolution pictures of any spot on the globe. This used to orient to government and military operations. Nowadays, Google Earth can be accessed by anyone to check how their house looks from up above.
Nowadays, we have grown accustomed to how easy shopping has become. We can order pretty much everything from the comfort of our couch. Satellites play a part in this. They link a business with your bank, thus facilitating a smooth and successful transaction.
That also happens when you swipe your credit card in a local small-town shop, which then uses satellite technology to connect to stations that process the payment. As of recent, banks started using satellite data to check on the creditworthiness of Indian farmers.
As you can see, there are loads of uses for satellites these days. Our world would be very different without these powerful technological devices.
We hope you enjoyed these facts about satellites and now appreciate them a little more. If you haven’t played around with satellite images, we encourage you to check Google Earth and have some fun with the app.
You can easily see how rainforests, oceans, glaciers, and epic structures such as the pyramids look from space. Do you use satellite TV or satellite Internet? How are your experiences with the quality? We would love to know your opinions in the comments below!