Japan: Newsmills in Japan are churning out news of the government conducting a feasibility test on hyperspectral sensor capable of scanning oil, rare earths and other minerals from the Earth. It is notable that Japan and the United States started using a jointly developed sensor mounted on satellites in 1999 for resource exploration, but since it wasn’t accurate enough, the countries had to discontinue with it.
Substances on Earth emit visible rays of light and invisible infrared light by reflecting back sunlight that falls on the planet’s surface. These materials have different light wavelengths and light reflection rates, allowing analysis to be conducted so the types of rocks on Earth can be identified. A deeper analysis of rock distribution could help pinpoint areas with potential mineral resources.
Preliminary surveys using satellites, therefore, appear to be an effective solution. Space-related companies in Japan are looking into ways to make remote sensing devices smaller and to improve their durability, so they can eventually be mounted on satellites.
Source: The Japan News