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2012 Awards Presented For Achievements In Earth Remote Sensing.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
NASA
 in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Independent U.S.
 and the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey The term geological survey can be used to describe both the conduct of a survey for geological purposes and an institution holding geological information.

A geological survey
 (USGS USGS United States Geological Survey (US Department of the Interior) ) presented the 2012 William T. Pecora awards for achievement in earth remote sensing Earth remote sensing is data collection on the environment, geology, climate, and other characteristics of the Earth by means of sensors positioned in the air or in Earth orbit. Sensors used for this type of data gathering include those covering all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.  to Gilberto Camara of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research and Leung Tsang of the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Camara was recognized for his contributions to remote-sensing leadership as a scientist, program director, manager and agency head. Tsang is one of the world's leading experts on the theory of microwave remote sensing Deriving digital models of an area on the earth. Using special cameras from airplanes or satellites, either the sun's reflections or the earth's temperature is turned into digital maps of the area.  for geophysical environments. Camara received his award at a meeting of the Group on Earth Observations in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, on Nov. 22. Tsang received his award Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

"Along with the immensely successful Landsat program, the Pecora awards are a testament to the very high value both the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA place in Earth remote sensing," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "As our planet's water, soil, and ecosystems continue to be stressed by a growing population and changing climate, it is essential we continue into a fifth decade of Earth observation time series and recognize the excellence of remote-sensing experts."

NASA and the Department of the Interior present individual and group Pecora Awards to honor outstanding contributions in the field of remote sensing and its application to understanding Earth. The award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of William T. Pecora, former USGS director and undersecretary of the Department of the Interior. Pecora was influential in the establishment of the Landsat satellite program, which created a continuous, 40-year record of Earth's land areas.

"I am sure Dr. Pecora would be pleased if he were here with us today and could see how his vision for innovative remote-sensing technology has been realized in the work of the individuals we are recognizing this year," said astronaut John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate.

As the former director general of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, Camara championed broad, open data-sharing policies and practices within the institute that have significantly influenced other domestic and international organizations to emulate this approach. Camara has advanced the linkages between and among remote-sensing technologies and Geographic Information System geographic information system (GIS)

Computerized system that relates and displays data collected from a geographic entity in the form of a map. The ability of GIS to overlay existing data with new information and display it in colour on a computer screen is used primarily to
 technologies and applications.

Camara also supported programs within the institute to link moderate-resolution imagery from the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite, Landsat, and other Earth observation missions with the policy needs of the Brazilian government, most notably polices on forestation and deforestation deforestation

Process of clearing forests. Rates of deforestation are particularly high in the tropics, where the poor quality of the soil has led to the practice of routine clear-cutting to make new soil available for agricultural use.
 in the Amazon.

Tsang's contributions to microwave remote sensing have laid the groundwork for improved data analysis and designs of new measurements and satellite observational systems. His work has resulted in numerous societal benefits, including monitoring climate change and improving management of water and agricultural resources. His original and pioneering discoveries have resulted in the publication of more than 260 journal articles and four books.

Tsang also made major advances in rough surface scattering theory and applications to microwave remote sensing of soil and vegetated surfaces. He developed an improved modeling framework for rough surface and vegetation scattering with fast computational methods that can be directly applied to both active and passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture.

For more information on the Pecora Awards, visit:

http://remotesensing.usgs.gov/pecora.php

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

SOURCE NASA
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Date:Dec 4, 2012
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