Terra and Aqua: new data for epidemiology and public health.
Tatem AJ., Goetz SJ., Hay SI.
Earth-observing satellites have only recently been exploited for the measurement of environmental variables of relevance to epidemiology and public health. Such work has relied on sensors with spatial, spectral and geometric constraints that have allowed large-area questions associated with the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases to be addressed. Moving from pretty maps to pragmatic control tools requires a suite of satellite-derived environmental data of higher fidelity, spatial resolution, spectral depth and at similar temporal resolutions to existing meteorological satellites. Information derived from sensors onboard the next generation of moderate-resolution Earth-observing sensors may provide the key. The MODIS and ASTER sensors onboard the Terra and Aqua platforms provide substantial improvements in spatial resolution, number of spectral channels, choices of bandwidths, radiometric calibration and a much-enhanced set of pre-processed and freely available products. These sensors provide an important advance in moderate-resolution remote sensing and the data available to those concerned with improving public health.