Glossary: B

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  1. Process by which up to 25% of radiant energy from the sun is reflected or scattered away from the surface by clouds. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  2. In radio, a continuous sequence of broadcasting frequencies within given limits. In radiometry, a relatively narrow region of the electromagnetic spectrum to which a remote sensor responds; a multispectral sensor makes measurements in a number of...
  3. The total range of frequency required to pass a specific modulated signal without distortion or loss of data. The ideal bandwidth allows the signal to pass under conditions of maximum AM or FM adjustment. (Too narrow a bandwidth will result in loss...
  4. The combination of antenna azimuth and elevation required to point (aim) an antenna at a spacecraft. The bearing for geostationary (i.e., GOES) satellites is constant. The bearing for polar-orbiting satellites varies continuously. Source: NASA (http...
  5. Organic nonfossil material of biological origin. For example, trees and plants are biomass. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  6. Part of the Earth system in which life can exist, between the outer portion of the geosphere and the inner portion of the atmosphere. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  7. The plant and animal life of a region or area. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  8. An ideal emitter which radiates energy at the maximum possible rate per unit area at each wavelength for any given temperature. A blackbody also absorbs all the radiant energy incident on it; i.e., no energy is reflected or transmitted. Source: NASA...
  9. A severe weather condition characterized by low temperatures and strong winds (greater than 35 mph) bearing a great amount of snow, either falling or blowing. When these conditions persist after snow has stopped falling, it is called a ground...
  10. Northern; from the Greek name for the Goddess of the North Wind. A boreal forest is the set of forest ecosystems than can survive in the north. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  11. A measure of the intensity of radiation thermally emitted by an object, given in units of temperature because there is a proportional correlation between the intensity of the radiation emitted and physical temperature of the radiating body. Source:...
  12. bus
    The basic frame of a satellite system that includes the propulsion and stabilization systems but not the instruments or data systems. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)