15 Applications of Remote Sensing in Military

15 Applications of Remote Sensing in Military

The innovation of remote sensing technology plays a vital role in the defense forces. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have provided essential and accurate information to military operations. Military commanders’ concept of Command, Control, Coordination, and Communication depends largely on spatial data from GIS. In the present digital era, remote sensing is applied in the military sector in the following ways:

1. Air Operations

Air operations in a battle environment are handled similarly to those on land. Military leaders depend on remote sensing technology for detailed information about the target location, proximity of civilian areas, meteorological data, and terrain analysis. These concepts are more incredible in making decisions that may affect effective airstrike operations.

2. Battle Field Management

Battlefield management is a system that integrates, monitors, and processes information to enhance efficient command and control of military operations. Remote sensing technology has changed the way battles are planned for during wars. The military commander in the battle uses spatial data and GIS systems for digital mapping, planning for battlefield operations, and command control.

3. Spying on Enemies with Reconnaissance Satellites

Military officers always struggle to obtain military information in enemy-controlled territory. Militaries use the power of satellites to retrieve information about their enemies. Reconnaissance satellites have been used for spying during wars back to the 1950s; the satellites take photos and images of the earth’s surface by parachuting down to the surface.

4. Searching for aircraft to Save Lives


One of the remote sensing’s most significant applications in the military is saving lives. Most military helicopters defend the homeland and perform searches for rescue operations. Hundreds of satellites orbit the earth each day; each satellite has its life-saving ability. Defense and military operations have employed these satellites to search for missing aircraft and save lives as early as possible.

5. Defense Estate Management

Effective management of the defense forces requires significant support from all involved parties. The use of remote sensors and GIS systems in the management of defense estates facilitates proper maintenance and monitoring of military stores. Good maintenance reduces base operations, maintenance costs and improves communication among the military staff.

6. Logistics Management

Remote sensing techniques play a significant role in the management of military logistics. GIS helps move supplies, equipment, and troops where they should be delivered at the right time. Remote sensors also facilitate decision-making on the routes used for convoys and forces. Also, they help in tracking sensitive items like nuclear warheads.

7. Viewing Spatial Data

Every personnel in a military operation is a potential viewer of spatial data right from the commanders. In these operations, the participants need a geographical picture like a map to help assess the situation. Remote sensing and GIS are the most appropriate tools for such operations; they offer a comprehensive database with all the authorized maps.

8. Recording Video Footage from Satellites

Most people do not know that satellites can record and come up with real-time videos. Remote sensing technology in the military makes it easy to record and spy on different activities in military operations. Satellites can shoot high-def videos from the ground to high above the earth’s surface. People can get videos on departing/landing airplanes, examining traffic, and other earth activities at the comfort of their homes.

9. Navigating Ships Safely

The availability of remote sensors enhances the safety of navigation and the regulation of maritime traffic. Significant navigation hazards that affect shipping lanes include damaged lights, fog signals, wrecks, and rocks. Countless vessels navigate the world’s waterway; however, GIS systems have proved to be the best of all. Remote sensing applications like routing analysis, wind information, and ship proximity help save hundreds of lives daily.

10. Picking up Signals from Submarines in Shallow Water

Communication with submarines is a field within military communications that allows them to send signals. Submarines are also excellent spies because they can excellently operate underwater. Research indicates that remote sensors such as satellites can detect submarines at shallow depths.

11. Spotting Undeclared Nuclear Power Plants Automatically

A typical nuclear plant usually has one circular cooling tower and releases thermal emissions to heat water. The plants are often found near water bodies connected to a road or a railway. These criteria make it easy to distinguish declared nuclear plants from undeclared nuclear plants. Remote sensing technology applies multispectral imagery to differentiate the two automatically.

12. Terrain Analysis and Evaluation

Military leaders heavily depend on remote sensors and GIS systems to make crucial decisions about guiding troops, equipment, ships, and information in case of any dangers ahead. Data from these systems are relayed to the cockpit, and the pilot gets information about threats, attacks, and possible hotspots. Military leaders can use the same data to find ideal scouting parties and hiding equipment locations.

13. Meteorological Information

After a plane takes off, pilots receive accurate data warnings about the possible weather changes. The meteorological information enhances visibility and makes pilots aware of the changes likely to happen during the flight. Real-time weather updates are also essential for field commanders, whether on land or on-air; weather information makes them know when to complete a given task.

14. Mapping Techniques

Military operations cannot run smoothly without maps; maps are a requirement, and each map caters to a specific purpose. Remote sensing is applied to facilitate the creation of digital maps that meet users’ needs. With remote sensing, officers can easily view spatial information and get details about what is happening at the command headquarters or in the field.

15. Monitoring of Terrorist Activity

The government is doing anything to reduce the growing number of attacks from terrorists. The advent of remote sensing technology has enhanced operations such as military sensing, physical security, and monitoring of terrorist activity. With the existing satellites, militaries can easily monitor potential terrorists and evaluate their attack plans. The satellites record images and videos of enemies, monitor their activities, and track their location for quick planning and action by the military.

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