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Series of American satellites for the study of terrestrial resources made by NASA and transformed into vital parts of a vast data acquisition network, which can be used by all countries of the world.
Landsat (from land = earth and sat = satellite) were initially called with the acronym ERTS (Earth Resources Technology Satellites) and came, both conceptually and structurally, from Nimbus meteorological satellites.
These are small laboratories placed in polar orbits (that is, they pass from pole to pole, cutting Ecuador with an inclination of 90 degrees) at a height of around 900 km. They are equipped with cameras that provide high-resolution color images and a sensor system of different wavelengths, called MSS (multi spectral scanner), with which it is possible to highlight otherwise invisible details of the earth's surface.
Thanks to these devices, experts have been able to have images that, properly treated, allow to determine and follow phenomena such as pollution of land, water and air, deforestation, enrichment or pauperization of marine fauna, growth of crops, volcanic eruptions, surface faults, etc.
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