Narrator: This is Science Today. High-resolution satellite images, which were previously prohibitively expensive – are now available to U.S. universities, thanks to a public-private partnership between the University of California , Santa Barbara and Terra Image USA . David Siegel directs the university's Institute for Computational Earth System Science, which is the lead university institute involved in the partnership.
Siegel: Traditionally, academic users – especially in the U.S. – have had no access to these data. And this is one of these great opportunities that we can change the face of science.
Narrator: High-resolution satellite images can be used by researchers working on earth remote sensing to track all sorts of changes in land use – both natural and man-made, as well as to study plate tectonics and coastal resources.
Siegel: There's hundreds of hundreds of applications. This data set is a constellation of satellites up in space of the SPOT system and the satellites themselves are owned by CNES, which is the French version of NASA.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.