PSD maintains the critical mass of expertise in remote sensing theory and application, engineering, and physical process studies necessary to address future environmental challenges and threats.
PSD has pioneered new technologies and techniques and pushed the boundaries of many "old" ones. The development process is a dynamic one, where state of the art observations challenge what we know of the environment and the need to know more pushes the development of the technology. Both rely on a strong foundation in physical theory and modeling.
Meeting Current Needs
PSD is called upon to deploy a wide range of instruments in support of field and process studies. These studies are designed to address issues critical to human health and safety, environmental stewardship and economic progress. To execute these studies, PSD relies on decades of expertise and development to meet the current need for environmental information. Observing systems fielded today were born in the minds of theorist and engineers years before and have been in development ever since. As theory becomes reality, instruments are developed from prototypes to research instruments and fielded to improve their reliability and demonstrate their capability. Reaching the operational stage instruments are contracted to industry for operational production.
Meeting Future Needs
We do not know what environmental challenges we may face in the future, but the technology to face them is under development here. From space-based lidars and radiometers, regional scale observing networks and long-term, unattended sensor packages, PSD is constantly challenging what we know about our environment with observations that can answer future questions.