A lot of space science research goes into monitoring our own planet. For example, Canada has a fully automated network of small satellite tracking telescopes across Canada, which is used to track other nations' satellites. However, the telescopes can also be used to track other high-earth orbit satellites such as GPS satellites, and solar system objects such as asteroids and comets. These tracking systems are being integrated into a worldwide tracking system designed to discover celestial bodies such as asteroids or comets that may someday impact the Earth.
Researchers are also looking at ionosphere physics and space weather. They are investigating the electrodynamics of Earth's auroral ionosphere using computer modeling, satellites, and ground-based radar remote sensing. This may be useful if and when the Earth is hit with damaging forms of solar radiation from the Sun; it may be possible to give advance warning and shut down nonessential systems to prevent damage to delicate electronic systems in airplanes and computers.
Remote sensing is also being used for other environmental monitoring. Researchers are working with marine radar for the estimation of ocean surface currents, ocean wave measurements, and to identify vegetation and changes in vegetation in prairie and boreal forest regions. This may help with understanding climate change through the examination of pattern change over both historical and present-day seasons.
Research is also ongoing into the design of space vehicles and satellites. See the articles on engineering and aerospace engineering for more information.
Study and Work in Space Science in Canada
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