Remote Sensing systems are key to understanding what and where events are happening on the landscape as shown by recent disasters such as the Gulf Oil Spill or flooding in the midwest.
Our remote sensing needs seem to be more driven by the sensor of convenience rather than the need to answer the problems we are trying to solve. With recent flooding, daily optical and radar imagery were needed ot provide a current state of where the flood extent was and where it was moving as well as to provide damage assessment. Thus a need for near real-time acquisition and delivery systems. Yet as we have observed for a number of years, there still remains gap where little or no imagery was acquired and delivered.
Currently the geo-platform as well as the lack of a truely comprehensive remote sensing policy for the country and the funding mechanisms is hindering our efforts to address our 'comprehensive' remote sensing needs. This ultimataly impacts negatively on our country's infrastructure.