The following problems apply the math skills listed in order to explore and understand various proceses that relate to the Landsat mission. The topics range from how remote sensors collect and interpret photons to how Landsat is currently used to monitor the effects of climate change on the Earth. Some problems discuss satellites other than Landsat, but still shed light on how instruments like Landsat operate. Each link includes a one-page worksheet and the accompanying teacher’s solution. NASA has created an entire series of space math books. which can be viewed and downloaded from here. The three sources used here are Remote Sensing Math (RS), Earth Math (E) and Electromagnetic Math (EMS).

Problem Topic

Math Skills


Grades 3-5
Creating an Image from Numbers Patterns, scale drawings, geometry, graph analysis RS 100
Interpreting a False-Color Image of Comet Tempel-1 Patterns, geometry, graph & table analysis RS 101
Grades 4-6
A Satellite View of Downtown Las Vegas Technology, rulers, scale drawings E 30
Exploring Washington DC from Space! Technology, rulers, scale drawings E 31
Grades 6-8
Paris – In a Different Light Technology, rulers, scale drawings, trigonometry E 32
Glacier Retreat Technology, rulers, scale drawings E 33
Estimating Biomass Loss From a Large Fire Technology, rulers, scale drawings, area E 34
Electromagnetic Waves Time, distance, speed, unit conversion EMS 15
Exploring the Infrared Band, relating energy frequency and temperature Time, distance, speed, scientific notation, unit conversion, graph analysis, solving for Xn EMS 23
Sun in Radio .06m 5GHz Technology, rulers, area, scale drawings, scientific notationon EMS 30
Image Formats : Taking a digital picture Technology, patterns, geometry RS 1
Images as Arrays of Numbers Patterns, arrays, matrices RS 4
SDO – Reveals Details on the Surface of the Sun Scale drawings, geometry RS 35
Landsat – Exploring Washington DC Scale drawings, geometry RS 40
Landsat – Glacier Retreat Time, distance, speed, area, scale drawing, geometry RS 41
Landsat – Exploring Biomass Loss from a Large Fire Percentages, area, scale drawings, geometry RS 42
Image Blurring and Motion Time, distance, speed, geometry RS 44
Creating and Interpreting Images Patterns, area, graph analysis, modeling RS 56
Graphical Reflectivity Measurements Geometry, graph analysis, modeling RS 57
MMM – A Mineral Study of Mare Orientale Patterns, percentages, scale drawings, geometry RS 58
Hinode – Seeing the Sun at X-ray wavelengths Scale drawings, geometry, unit conversion RS 63
Seeing the Sun at Radio Wavelengths Scale drawings, unit conversion RS 64
Data Archiving Through the Ages Patterns, time, distance, area, geometry, unit conversionsn RS 87
Landsat: Multi-Wavelength Imaging Area, geometry, table analysis RS 96
Landsat: Identifying Thematic Content Geometry, graph analysis RS 97
Landsat: Creating 2-D Thematic Images Scale drawings, geometry, graph analysis RS 99
Grades 6-9
Identifying Materials by their Reflectivity Averages, percentages, modeling E 9
Reflectivity Fingerprints Inquiry, patterns E 10
Carbon Dioxide Production and Sequestration Percentages, volume, unit conversions, rates E 20
Grades 9-12
The Great Gulf Oil Catastrophe of 2010 Averages, percentages, modeling E 45
Telemetry – Transmitting data back to Earth Patterns, arrays, matrices RS 9
Geometry and Angular Size Geometry, fractions, solving for X, unit conversion RS 31
Resolving the Moon Scale drawings, geometry, unit conversion RS 32
Angular Resolution and Wavelength Scientific notation, unit conversions, evaluating functions RS 45
Digital Imaging and Filters Area, graph analysis, modeling RS 52
MMM-Water on the Moon Area, volume, scientific notation, unit conversion RS 61
Terra – Carbon Monoxide a Deadly Trace Gas Scale drawings, unit conversions, rate RS 65