The history of remote sensing can be traced back to the mid-19th century, when French physicist Daguerre invented photography and Nadar took aerial photos of Paris from a balloon.
In the early 20th century, the Wright Brothers invented airplanes, creating favorable conditions for aerial photography.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial Earth satellite.
In February 1959, the United States used the launched Vanguard 2 satellite to take the first pictures of Earth's clouds, ushering in the era of satellite remote sensing.
With high orbit and fast flight speed, satellite remote sensing is not limited by national boundaries or geographical conditions. It can fully utilize the advantages of "seeing far from a high position" and observe areas that cannot be covered by ground-based and airborne remote sensing. It can obtain data over a large area in a short period of time, and has great application value.
In the past 60 years, satellite remote sensing has developed rapidly. More than 2,500 remote sensing satellites launched by countries around the world have played an important role in resource surveying, mapping, weather and ocean forecasting, disaster prevention and mitigation, and military reconnaissance.
Today, satellite remote sensing has become an indispensable means of human understanding the world, the relationship between human beings and nature, maintaining national security, and promoting sustainable development.
Remote sensing (including satellite remote sensing) is a new and young science and technology. High-resolution and fine-grained observation has become one of the mainstream development directions.
Optical remote sensing is developing towards higher spatial resolution, temporal resolution, spectral resolution, and radiometric resolution. Microwave remote sensing is developing towards higher frequencies, multi-band, multi-polarization, more detection functions, and high spatio-temporal resolution and high measurement accuracy.
The application of multiple satellite network operations and various types of remote sensing sensors has gradually enhanced the all-weather and all-time observation capabilities, and will establish a global, three-dimensional and multi-dimensional remote sensing system in which small and large satellites complement each other and integrate with the ground and space.
Various new and efficient remote sensing processing methods and algorithms will be used to solve the processing, correction, fusion, and remote sensing information visualization of massive remote sensing data.
Remote sensing analysis technology is changing from qualitative to quantitative, and quantitative remote sensing has become the development direction of remote sensing applications. Remote sensing extraction technology will establish expert systems suitable for automatic interpretation of remote sensing images, and gradually realize the automation of thematic information extraction from remote sensing images.
With the integration of satellite remote sensing and new-generation information technologies such as mobile internet and internet of things, the content service industry based on spatial information is forming and leading the innovative development of satellite remote sensing and its application technology and services. Remote sensing data can be used in all aspects of people's lives. With the advent of the big data era, it will inevitably usher in a great change.
It is expected that in the next 15 years, humans will enter a new era of multi-level, three-dimensional, multi-angle, all-round, all-weather and all-time Earth observations.
The global Earth observation system with complementary high, medium and low resolutions, in the form of a constellation, will integrate multiple imaging systems and provide a large amount of Earth observation data with various spatial resolutions, temporal resolutions and spectral resolutions quickly and in a timely manner. At the same time, high-precision parameter measurement, multi-angle measurement, polarization measurement, laser altimetry and imaging technologies are gradually becoming practical.
As the performance of high-resolution remote sensing satellites and the comprehensive application capability of remote sensing satellites continue to improve, the trend of integrating satellite remote sensing with new-generation information technology is becoming increasingly evident, and the application mode of satellite remote sensing is accelerating innovation. The satellite remote sensing industry is entering a new era.