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During the last decade, electronics, communications, and satellite technologies have greatly enhanced the collection and communication of environmental data from remote locations. While numerous environmental data collection agencies have begun to employ remote telemetry systems operationally, hydrologic data collection agencies have made the greatest transition to these technologies. The U.S. Soil Conservation Service has established a remote communications network with over 500 hydrologic sites, using a communications technique known as “meteorburst,” which relies on ionized micrometeor trails in the atmosphere to reflect radio messages between a hydrologic station and an interrogation site. Most major agencies collecting hydrologic data in the United States and Canada rely on satellite communications to collect data directly from approximately 3000 remote locations and to provide the data in real time to central data processing and dissemination facilities. Elements of remote data transmission systems are discussed, and major operators and users of such systems are identified.
environmental data, telemetry, satellites, data transmission, remote sensing, remote telemetry
Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA