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Remote Sensing is the detection and measurement of physical quantities at a distance, and the term covers such established fields as geophysical prospecting, aerial photography, and the various military reconnaissance systems. With passing time and increased specialization, these fields tend to become parochial.
The recent symposia on Remote Sensing show that there is also a strong interdisciplinary trend, and that collective development of new techniques and the rapid dissemination of information are likely to stimulate application of the resultant systems in widely separated technical fields. Eventually Remote Sensing should become
a general service field providing new concepts and techniques to industry, but this will require: (1) better utilization of publications and meetings, (2) early declassification of non-critical military information and greater awareness of its availability, and (3) training and utilization of a new class of physical scientist.
As an example, a general investigation into the effects of laser beams on natural targets led to a concept of compositional probing which is specific for one material, ruby. The same principles may have interesting applications in the direct detection of oil and gas at the surface from low-flying aircraft.
In any case, the petroleum geologist needs to be aware that this and other new systems are constantly appearing, and that some of them may aid him in his specialized work.
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