The following is a case study on the usefulness of earth observation satellites. It has been prepared and organized to capture the key aspects as per the objectives of the study. The main aim of the study is to highlight some of the important benefits associated with observation satellites.
In this regard, a deeper understanding of the satellites will be emphasized with the help of information from EIAST; an institution involved in space study and satellites developments in United Arab Emirates. The research study was conducted to try and bridge the gap between the known and unknown information about observation satellites.
Results from the case study will be used to develop amicable ideas that can be used to improve satellites technology knowledge across the globe. In addition, the information unveiled and compiled can be used to motivate upcoming institutions in the field of satellites.
Case study has been conducted in the EIAST premises through the use of various research and data collection techniques. The information gained from the institution is used purely for the research purposes and no other interest whatsoever.
In this regard, some of the methods applied for the research include interviews, direct observations and administration of questionnaires. From the results obtained, an in-depth analysis of factual data has been done and interpretation of the same developed.
This is in line with the study topic and the scope of the study. Once the field of satellites technology is deeply explored, the world of space will be available to most people. It is highly recommended that the results from the analysis carried out be used for future references in the satellites research and study purposes.
Satellites are machine objects designed to be used for space exploration activities. Earth observation satellites are special categories of satellites that functions to explore the earth from the space. These satellites are fitted with special cameras that capture images of the earth’s crust including ocean and landscape.
In addition, the lower sky activities are also monitored by satellites (Danson 1998). This helps in availing information about weather and climate patterns. Information from the lower sky exploration finds use in the meteorology and navigation departments across the globe (Peters 2005).
The following is a case study about the usefulness of the earth observation satellites. It has been conducted in the EIAST; a well-established satellites development research firm based in Dubai.
The research is well designed and coordinated in terms of activities and analysis of the findings has been done with accuracy in consultation with the relevant research tools. The study takes the form a case study that is geared towards effective uses of earth observation satellites.
In this regard, various techniques for carrying out the activity have been used. They include proper planning, formulation of research questions, preparation of research materials, preparation of population sample for the research, and presentation research tokens to aid in the data collection activity among many other activities.
The success of the case study will highly depend on proper organization of the mentioned activities within the time frame allocated for the activities. The case study findings will be published in journals and availed for future reference and further research.
The objectives of study are; to promote the satellites technology across the globe, to enhance the importance of applying satellites in doing research about the earth, to create awareness of the roles that the satellites play in enhancing the lives of mankind and to encourage further research in the field of satellites and space exploration.
The case study is a single centered activity drawing all the conclusions from a single resource place. It is assumed that the satellites operating firms use similar type of technology in the space activities. EIAST as a satellite operating firm is supposed to provide all the required information and also offer cooperation in doing research.
The case study, however, faces potential limitations in implementing it. Hindrances in an attempt to gather information from the target population may prove to be a hard nut to crack as some of institutions’ policies do not allow disclosure of the company policies to a third party.
Uncooperative respondents may also limit the extent to which our study will go. The information provided may also be too shallow not to draw sound conclusions. These limitations are mitigated by ensuring a good working rapport between the researcher and the target population.
In an attempt to reduce bottleneck, tokens have been prepared to boost morale of the respondents. Other limitations to the success of the case study are the company activities, vague research questions, time allocated for the activity and vigor of the research team during data collection and analysis.
All the activities in the research schedule must be take place within the time and space allocated as this will ensure that no omission cases occur.
Earth’s observation satellites are special type of satellites that are designed and built for the purposes of observing the earth and are installed in the orbit. Satellites help to provide important information as it regards to both the natural and human resources from the space.
The information about the environment, ocean, ice and the entire land are some of the important areas that the satellites help to identify and more information is discovered adding to the wealth of knowledge already reserved (Lenrie 2011).
The images obtained from the satellites aids in proper planning and key development efforts that are sustainable in supporting humanitarian efforts globally. Initially, Earth’s observation satellites were not as profound as they are in these modern times.
In the early 20th century, ordinary cameras were mounted on the back of fast moving aeroplanes and from the images captured it was made possible to identify the number of attacking enemies including their specific location.
However, space age and advanced developments officially began in the year 1957 with the launch of the Sputnik1 by the Soviet Union. On Jan the 31st 1958, the US Department of Defence launched the first satellite in the history of USA by using a modified Redstone missile.
This marked a great milestone in the history of space exploration in the super power nation. Owing from this great exploration, the National Aeronautics and space act created formed a new agency to consolidate and guide the US in the quest for space exploration.
According to the NASA report (Godwin 2010), the laid down objectives were geared to conducting the manner in which the satellites could be handled in the orbit. The three scientific purposes were; sampling of the strange new environment, exploration of earth’s new creatures and scoping the earth while recording the information as seen.
The technology was further developed in the 1960s after the Second World War as a means of preparing for the Normandy -invasion day. During this time, aerial photographs taken from space which were used to locate coastal areas that were suitable for landing fighting jets.
In addition, a technology on the use of wavelength to calculate and estimate distances was developed and implemented on areas of the coast that had shallow waves. It was during this era that the space exploration and scientific research blossomed.
The technology saw the rise of the most accurate means of locating the enemies camouflaging with vegetation. Timely response to environmental and climate disasters was fastened with the introduction of fast satellite rockets.
Today, the world is experiencing a positive explosion in the field of space exploration because of better and more efficient satellite systems. Some of the world’s famous satellites include;
The International Space Station (ISS)
The ISS was launched in the year 1998 and it was located on the lower earth orbit, about 435 kilometres from the earth crust. This station is a project joint having five agencies whose main area of specialization is space exploration.
ISS comprises of five space agencies which include NASA based in US, the Russian federal space agency based in Russia, the Japan aerospace exploration agency, the Canadian space agency and the European space agency based in Europe (Denzin & Lincoln 1994).
The international space station according to its developers is designed to be in its full operation until late 2028. The ISS is made of module on pressure, solar selection and exterior trusses that maintain the intended functions.
The developments and findings from the ISS have found an extensive application in the space exploration in all the member agencies. Owing from the possible controversy that might arise from joint ownership of the space station, the member agencies established an intergovernmental agreements and treaties (Ray & Moser 2009).
These treaties saw the division of ISS into two sub-stations; Russian orbital segment and United States orbital segment. There will be an addition of a pressurized module that will be installed facing the earth docking port as stipulated in the plan.
Among the agencies that form ISS is ESA that is responsible for facilitating two key station elements which are the European Columbus laboratory and the automated transfer vehicles.
The two stations functions to research in fluid mechanics, materials and life knowledge and provision of drag for the machines. ISS according to a US report is the future for the entire world in combating terrorism and other malicious activities in the Middle East countries and some parts of North Africa.
It is believed that once the full potential of the satellite is unleashed, major and remarkable exploration of the space shall be made.
Societe Europeenne des satellite
SES is a satellite-based in Betzdorf, Luxemburg which is the second largest satellite in the field of telecommunications that was founded in the year 1985. This satellite reaches about 99% of the world’s total population.
As the world is moving from analog to digital modes of media transmission, this satellite will be a key implementing tool. SES satellites hold more than 6200 TV channels, including high definitions categories and direct to home categories.
SES operates over 54 geostationary satellites that enable the transmission and operations of the main satellite to be effective. This form of satellite provides a variety of formats for radio broadcasting as well as those of television.
The future prospective of SES is promising as they are pioneering the high definition reality TV’s and 3D television (Ray & Moser 2009). In this aspect, SES is expanding its coverage to African countries an economic hub that has for long not been explored and invested in.
In this regard, most African broadcasting corporations have partnered with SES to globalize the world of entertainment through the popular channels of radio and television.
After the world digital migration, it is estimated that the shares of the SES organization will increase by over 20% according to research done by the world future economic growth experts. Owing from the drastic discoveries made in the field of media technology the future of SES is promising.
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)
This satellite is based in the USA under the department of National environment satellite. GOES enables weather and climate forecasting to be affected including meteorology and storm tracking.
This form of satellite uses geosynchronous types of satellites and its data is only accessed by the means of SPENDAS software system (Jensen 1983). There are four main satellites that are currently available for use which includes; GOES east, west, south and west.
GOES spacecraft provides means for solar X-Ray imager and space environment monitoring (Awange & Kiema 2013). Awange and Kiema 2013 argues that it measures the effect of the solar-terrestrial electromagnetic waves on the surroundings in still conditions, which provides a concurrent data to the research centres.
The information obtained from the GOES database is used extensively in the operation of military activities and geophysical explorers (Sachdev 2009). It is essential to note that 1 unit of GOES has been declared inoperable owing from its malfunctioning from the solar flare.
Express AM-6 satellite
This is a satellite-based in Russia under geostationary communications by Reshenev. It was launched in the year 2014 into the orbit and expected to be fully operational on July 2015.
Once started, the satellite will embark on a 15-year communications media broadcasts program, high-speed broadband internet services among other space applications. However, the satellites success in its design objectives will highly depend on the coordination of the systems network and other supporting structures.
If the operational launch prospected to happen in the course of this year turns to success, this satellite will face a strong opposition from other related and satellites functioning similarly that are already established in the market.
However, it is important to note that the AM-6 satellite is different and unique as compared to the rest. Its twin satellite VSAT satellite system complements the Express AM-6 satellite where the compatibility of both is speculated to be a huge success once launched and made operational (Gary 2008).
Among the key media enhancements areas that the satellite is designed to enhance are the ultra-high definition T.V transmission, ultra high wave radio transmission and high broadband internet services in the Asian and some parts of European countries (George 2014).
An electronic gadget that is operating on the satellite system that is of high quality shows highly defined images in terms of resolution and audio output of high quality.
In the case study on Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) about the usefulness of earth observation satellite, it is paramount to conduct a thorough research on the specific areas to explore.
Qualitative research is supposed to provide an in-depth understanding of certain behaviours and reasons for their existence (Denzin and Lincoln 1994). It is aimed at exploring unstructured data in an attempt to create a solid and concrete fact-based report that can be used for future references.
In this regard, qualitative analysis is conducted in a step-by-step procedural manner with clear objectives and mission that are realistic and achievable in the short or long run. There are various methods of conducting a qualitative research.
Qualitative research approach uses a non-probability sampling method for selecting the study population. Some of the methods that are popularly used in collecting data in qualitative analysis includes; conducting interviews, administering questionnaires, direct observation among others.
The interviews can take the form of both open and closed end answers format.
Research questions may cover the areas of satellites development, practicality of the developed satellites, space exploration techniques using satellites, benefits of the satellites, human hazards that are associated with satellites if any, future trends expected in the world of satellites.
Open end questions will provide room for additional information from the relevant interviewees. Examples of questions will be;
- What are the guiding scientific principles in development of satellites?
- How are satellites built?
- How flexible are satellite systems as compared to the rest of technologies in the world?
- What is the current rating of EIAST in terms of achieving its mission and laid down objectives?
- What are some of the future benefits of the satellites at an institution level and internationally?
- Are there some risks associated with space exploration using satellites and if yes, how do the owners mitigate for the risks?
These are some of the questions that will be either given to individuals indirectly in the institution where the interviewees will fill in the spaces provided or a direct interview where the answers are provided with additional information.
Interviews are a critical tool in the collection of factual data as a timely response is provided by the individuals in the relevant field.
This is a method of collecting qualitative data that is essential in analysis. In this method, a sample area is identified and direct view of the actual findings of the area is made. The data is grouped into various categories with respect our research interest.
A good observation gives a full coverage of the sample study area in the scope of the study. The data obtained observation is recorded in special type of reference sheet prepared earlier before the visit.
In this method, only the existing phenomenon is recorded giving room for possible errors in a manner that some of the information might have escaped the eyes of the researcher. The success of this method highly depends on the accuracy of other methods of data collection.
These are list of questions prepared by a researcher in an attempt to gather more information on a specific area of study. The questions are given to the parties who are directly involved in the area of interest. Answers provided by these parties serve to fill the gap of knowledge that the researcher is looking for.
In our case study, both open and closed end questionnaire will be used. The closed end type will tackle areas on practicality of satellites in the space, suitability of space satellites, sustainability of satellites systems to mankind and areas of satellites terrorism and satellites tracking.
The closed end type will cover areas of working in the space satellites, how data is recorded in the satellite, and interpretation of the observed data among many other questions. It is important to note that only the members of EIAST will be eligible to answer the questions.
The research on the usefulness of earth observation satellites will take the case study format. Our case study will entirely be based in the EIAST. In the case study, the entire area is sampled to a study niche that will be used to generalize the findings for the entire institution.
Case study analysis is the most suitable methodology for analyzing our study topic in that it provides a deep exploration of the study area. In this regard, analysis of the data obtained is more advanced. The scientific study conducted is intensive in terms of factual data obtained as compared with other methodologies.
Case study approach has several pros that includes;
A case study will provides qualitatively rich information on the satellites development and the technology. It will also provide handy for additional exploration in the research of satellites. Case study approach gives a room for further investigations for unethical situations.
A case study will also help in generating new and important ideas that will be important in theories illustration.
A case study approach, however, has several cons as it regards our study area which includes;
It is impractical to generalize the findings obtained from our study area to represent the entire satellite world. A case study approach is time consuming and may be affected biasness from the respondent’s view of the research being conducted.
Population and sample
The population for our study will be the technical department in the EIAST and the findings made from this department will be used to generalize the entire situation in the institution.
The department of space operations will partially represent marketing, human resource, programs management and the rest. It is important to note that heads of other departments shall be included in the research. The space operations department is appropriate as it has a link to all other departments.
This department is involved in almost all activities in the institution giving our sampling method some assurance of correct findings. Our target population is the head of the each section in the department and whose response will be the source of data needed in carrying out the analysis.
Our study niche will further be categorized into both direct and control groups for the purposes of obtaining non ambiguous data. A control group will comprise of a population that have not been informed of the study objective. This will help to provide data that will be crosschecked with the findings from the direct population.
Once the two sets of data tallies, then an assumption is made that the findings are accurate and that the data can be used for analysis. However, it is important to note that company policy on confidentiality would be a hindering factor in an attempt to co-ordinate a well responsive team.
This is because some of the information that our research intends to obtain is private and confidential and cannot be released to any outside party. It would be important to note the areas that much exploration is not guaranteed according to the EIAST protocol.
When carrying out the sampling plan, it will of great importance to identify such areas and provide assurance to the respondents of copyright protection. In implementing our data collection strategy, interviews have been prepared in line with our study topic.
The mode of interview will be at personal and group level in which success of both cases will highly depend on participation of the respondents. Interviews will contain at least 60 questions formulated from the satellite knowledge and understanding available in the other sources.
These questions are supposed to be introduced to the direct population when aware of the objectives of the interview and the part they are playing in the activity. Three main interviews shall be conducted.
One will be directed towards areas of technical performances of satellites, the second will be channelled to the company policies that govern the space exploration and lastly another interview will be held to provide more information of usefulness of using the satellite technology.
Questionnaires will be used in an attempt to collect factual data about the satellites development. Both open and closed formats of questionnaires will be administered to the respective parties in the population sample. The timing of administering these questions will be different with the time allocated for carrying out interviews.
The number of questions and the questions area of research will also differ in both methods of collecting basic data. It is estimated that the questionnaires will be given to six respondents representing the main areas of my coverage and these respondents must either be the head or team leaders of the various sections in our department of choice.
In an attempt to woo the respondents, tokens will be issued which shall only be handed upon the completion of the exercise. The information about the tokens shall be made known to the participants before the exercise is conducted. This will motivate the study population in participating in the exercise to the very end
Open and closed end questionnaires
This research instrument will be issued to the population sample in two ways. One of the ways is through privately administering the questionnaires to the respective parties without disclosing the information to the rest.
The purpose of private answers questionnaires is to give the respondents a chance to express their views on the highlighted areas without the interference of a third party.
This mode of administering questions will involve key satellite information such as; latest news about the space exploration, company policies and future plans, satellite ventures and joint companies, hiccups facing the institution in satellite developments, legal challenges imposed on the institution by the relevant governmental and world bodies and the institution financial in the recent past.
Another method for administering questionnaires is the open questions for individuals and groups. This method of collecting data is less formal and only requires the respondents giving their views in any position of their convenience (Denzin and Lincoln 72).
Personal opinions are respected and recorded. These findings are used to complement the private interviews conducted earlier. When the exercise is well conducted, it will be noted that the respondents will cooperate well and answers that they provide are in line with the questions asked.
Early preparation of the questions for the research topic is a key area in ensuring that the focus and objectives of the intended research have been met.
Appendix for the questionnaires administered
Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology
To whom it may concern
Re: Request to carry out a questionnaire filling exercise
I am student carrying out a research on the usefulness of earth observation satellites. I am kindly asking for the permission from the relevant authorities in this institution to conduct an open and closed questionnaire administration exercise together with interviews on the same.
The exercise will not halt the institutions day to day activities and the findings from the exercise be used purely for research and future development of the institution. Kindly advise the respondents to cooperate as there will be awards to be issued with the successful completion of the exercise.
The following is a questionnaire based appendix for the research to be conducted at Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology.
Kindly provide honest answers to the following questions. Note that the information is private and confidential and the names of the respondents will not be disclosed. Kindly underline the most appropriate answers from the choices already given.
- How would you rate the institution policies in the making of satellites? Excellent / poor
- Does the institution disclose full information about the methods applied in space exploration? Yes/No
- When was the last time the satellite system in the institution checked for safety? Recently/ Never
- Would you term the future of the institution in observation satellites and space exploration as promising? Yes/ No
In your own words, what measures do you think the institution is supposed to enhance in order to realize its set objectives? (About 100 words)
- What are some of the challenges that the workers face when working with satellites?
- Are there safety response teams in the orbit that are responsible for other satellite workers?
- What is the interrelationship situation among the various departments in the institution?
- What would you give as some of the benefits of using earth observation satellites?
- In your own words, do you think these benefits are detrimental to people social development?
- What are some of the threats to satellites development and their implementation?
This is another method that will be used to collect data from the institution. In this method, well planned and coordinated interviews with the company’s high profile personnel’s will be organized in the most convenient times with respect to the already planned company schedules.
The type of interview to adopt is the patterned one and group interview. A good interview captures the key areas using the available target population (Denzin and Lincoln 1994). In these cases, standard questions will be given to a candidate of choice.
The answers from the respondents are compared with the standard ones available in sources of satellite research earlier conducted and available in references. Interviews conducted to the target population will impose friendly terms that will ensure eligible answers are obtained.
Our target population will be given space to give any evidential fact or material within their reach that they think would be beneficial to our case study. The evidential fact, however, must not violate the institution’s terms and conditions.
In the patterned interview, suitability of particular questions will be evaluated on the merits of their practicality in the study topic given. It is important therefore to avoid ambiguous questions or topics that have already been captured in other methods of data collection.
This means that a thorough review of research sub-topics must be done before conducting the interview and only additional information and facts needed are incorporated in the interview part.
Establishing a good rapport between the interviewee and the researcher will be enhanced by use of friendly language and tonal expressions that are appealing. Use of words that portray courtesy will be a way to follow.
Direct answers as well as broad information responses will be grouped separately since they will used as separate entities in the analysis of data. The interviews will be conducted to the various target groups in the morning when self-esteem of workers in the institution is at its best level.
Data analysis and interpretation
The responses from the interviews conducted together with questionnaires administered provide data that is used for analysis purposes. Our data is purely statement based paving way for content analysis and interpretation. The yes/no question are given a weight of either a one or zero respectively.
When the answer of the respondent favours the question asked, it shows that there is likelihood for the statement to be true. In the case of the open group answers, the weight is put in similar answers given by different groups.
Taking the data obtained from interviews on future prospects of the company, it would mean that when the company’s recent past strategy has made positive growth in the total profits and expansion of facilities, then a general conclusion that satellites development is the way to go.
However, if by weighing the responses provided by the interviewees on the same topic shows a negative perception, this would probably mean that satellites technology and its development is faced with more challenges than its gains.
With the help of better analysis tools, the results from the findings of all sources will be done in the best manner possible. The grouping of data is essential and helps to categorize information processed into their right categories. Grouped data is easier to analyze and understand.
It also helps to stay in line with the study topic by eliminating straying and misguiding information. By analyzing similar results and checking for correlation, refined results and conclusions about the study area is made.
Highly correlated data shows that the research topic is positive and scattered data results after analysis depicts a negative image. In this case, if the weighted score shows that the EIAST is positive about satellites, then this can be interpreted that the research topic has been achieved.
Case Study and Discussion
Background about EIAST and its Projects
The EIAST institution dates back to the year 2006 when it was established by city’s administration (George 1990). Its main purpose was to steer scientific innovations, expansion in technology both in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and explore on the sustainable development programs.
The institution comprises of team of expertise that are well-organized and directed to steering forward the achievements of UAE in space exploration. EIAST in past has made remarkable achievements that has seen its existence worth noting in the international calendar.
The launch of Dubaisat-1 and Dubaisat-2 are the main achievements for the institution. These two satellites continue orbiting around the sky space capturing great images. It is also rumoured that EIAST is planning to launch Khalifasat satellite by 2017 for probing mars (EIAST published report 2014).
This will be a historic moment and the world wait with anticipation for this great milestone that will see the company’s efforts bearing fruits. The three satellites differ in their intended purposes.
Dubaisat1 is built to capture images that show the earth geographical terrain while on the other hand Dubaisat2 captures images regarding the climate and meteorology in the space. Khalifasat satellite when launched and fully put into operation will be used to explore mars.
This is in line with other exploration made by other satellites in the world in the quest to establish whether mars supports human and vegetation life. The three satellites have brought a lot of benefits to the Middle East countries, UAE receiving full benefits.
With the development of these satellites, employment opportunities have been created in the field of Engineering, analysts, aeronautics and others who directly benefit from space exploration. Extensive research conducted has also seen development projects realized paving way for enhanced and more effective systems of space exploration.
This is in line with Dubai government development agenda of increasing its GDP (Codding 1990). The satellites have also enabled timely and accurate weather and climate forecasting techniques in the Middle East region.
Dubaisat satellite captures images that are sent to headquarter for analysis. From the findings, advice is availed to the relevant meteorological departments in the countries of coverage.
Conclusion and Recommendation
It is clear from the analysis and research conducted, that satellites are the future and key development agenda for any world economy wishing to expand its development horizons. This is in line with trend that different world economies are adapting in an attempt to achieve their visions.
Satellites pose a lot of benefits in almost all key sectors of any economy; security matters, telecommunications, weather and climate analysis among many others. Therefore, it would be quite impractical for the government bodies to underrate this rich field of satellite exploration.
From the research conducted, it is recommended that satellites scientific knowledge be availed in the research papers and journals for the purposes of deep exploration in this field.
It would also be of great benefit if learners and researchers would be allowed to freely visit the exploration sites with ease and be accorded the support they require in taking exploration studies. This will translate to increase in learning programs of satellite discipline making the field of satellites an expansive one.
However, it is important to increase awareness of the benefits gained from earth observation satellites. This can be done through awareness campaigns, scholarship awards, sustainable space development programs and agendas. Most government institutions ought to be the key players in realization of these goals.
One strategy in achieving this is by investing heavily in science and technology developments through maximum allocation of resources (Peters 2005). It will be noted that once science and technology development is achieved, it will as well ensure that all other sectors of economy develops.
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