30 May '13, 9pm

Stopping Starvation by Satellite

In 1971 and 1972, wheat crops in the Soviet Union suffered massive shortfalls. The U.S. government, which had no idea of the scope of the problem, blithely negotiated a three-year deal that allowed the Kremlin to buy U.S. grain on credit. The Soviets spent their entire credit limit (and more) right away, and global grain prices skyrocketed. Just weeks after this grain deal was announced, the Earth-observing satellite Landsat 1 achieved orbit. If the satellite had launched a few months earlier, the so-called Great Grain Robbery might never have happened. Remote sensing of the world’s agricultural output isn’t new, but improved software and sensors are raising this form of information gathering to new heights. Satellite data are now used not just to monitor crop yields but also to predict them weeks in advance. This helps traders in international markets set reasonable prici...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/satellites/stopping-st...

Tweets

Lot of progress on the homeless Veterans front,...

navytimes.com 29 May '13, 8pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki warned Wednesday that tackling the problem of homelessness among veterans, like s...