Remote sensing detects and monitors the physical and spatial characteristics of the earth's oceans, surface, and atmosphere by measuring the reflected or scattered downwelling or emitted upwelling electromagnetic radiation or acoustic signal using passive or active sensors at a distance. It plays an important role in today's energy and environmental sustainability efforts. Remote sensing from spaceborne, airborne, terrestrial, and marine platforms has long been used in hydrocarbon exploration to map surface geology, topography, and hydrocarbon seepages, as well as to evaluate environments that relate to petroleum industry activities. Since the mid-2000s, remote sensing technologies have undergone substantial advances in data acquisition, processing, and interpretation. In the last decade, rapid advances in satellite systems, unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), sensors, and scale of surveys have further expanded applications.

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