Before the introduction of satellites many of the modern conveniences that we enjoy today were far less refined or virtually non-existent.
Maps were far less accurate and took much longer to research, television could not be broadcast across the world as it is today and our understanding of astrophysics was far more limited.
Before the introduction of satellites, the weather was predicted using barometers, forecast models or simply by looking at the sky. The first weather satellite was launched more than 50 years ago, and today are the most advanced form of technology we have for predicting the weather.
Apart from predicting simple weather patterns, such as rain, wind, hail or snowfall, we have also been able to predict large-scale natural disasters and prepare against them. NASA launched a new generation of weather satellites earlier this year which will be able to measure cloud and surface changes more quickly and in greater detail.
Long before satellite television, we were only able to enjoy locally broadcast television networks, who would only broadcast programmes until a certain time. Nowadays, television broadcasters, such as DSTV, make use of satellites to broadcast their television programmes to viewers all over the country.
Satellites have also made the concept of ‘live television’ possible. Whether it is a sporting event or a news broadcast, the signal is transmitted directly from the scene to the satellite and then directly into your home.
Before the introduction of satellites, astronomy was a much less precise science than what it is today. With help from devices like the Hubble Space Telescope we are now able to better understand phenomena such as black holes and pulsars, and what kind of effect they have on the environment around us.
Satellite telescopes are able to study frequencies which are only accessible from space and have, therefore, been an integral part of our current understanding of space.
Satellites are the most accurate devices we currently have to monitor the negative effects climate change is having on our natural environment.
Through measuring activity such as the rising sea levels, damage to the atmosphere, the declining size of glaciers, and the rainforest, we are able to interpret how our behaviour affects the world around us, and what we can do to save it.
Since communications satellites have been used to provide access to the internet, we have been able to enjoy faster and more stable internet, with download speeds of up to 50mbps. Satellite internet functions in a variety of ways, often making use of three primary units including the primary satellite, ground stations and dish antenna. Satellite internet has been known to have significantly less latency issues than traditional internet connections, making it popular with the online gaming community.
By making use of satellite imagery, we are able to make use of satellites to produce accurate and detailed maps. Satellites such as the GeoEye and DigitalGlobe were launched specifically to take high-resolution images of the earth’s surface from up to 3 kilometres above the earth.