Lake Tuz, Turkey. National Physical Laboratory (UK)
There are quite a few technical issues scientists must take into consideration when attempting to use satellite-mounted cameras to photograph a subject as large and complex as planet Earth—like how to accurately set a white balance. Fortunately, researchers have identified eight locations on Earth that can potentially help to rectify this problem.
One of these locations is Lake Tuz, located in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. Every summer, the 50×31 mile lake dries out revealing its white, salt-rich floor. Just as we Earthlings can hold up and photograph a white sheet of paper or gray card to set a custom white balance, satellite mounted cameras can potentially utilize Lake Tuz to do the exact same thing—just on a much larger scale. This is very reassuring news as Earth-observing satellites have become an integral part of tracking and measuring things like climate change, coastal erosion and natural disasters. Unfortunately, poor calibration of these cameras can greatly throw off the accuracy of the data collected.
While the harsh environment of outer space is notorious for messing with camera calibrations, sites like Lake Tuz have become extremely important to scientists as they work to come up with a universal calibration service for all observation satellites.
For more information on Lake Tuz and the other seven potential calibration sites, head on over to: Calvalportal.ceos.org