In 1915, Albert Einstein published his theory of relativism. Building on his theory, he then predicted the existence of gravitational waves, a year later. According to him, masses accelerating towards each other and colliding create waves or ripples in the fabric or space and time (Cho). In 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected such waves for the first time ever. Prior to this, Einstein’s theory on gravitational waves had never been proven. Not only did the LIGO detect gravitational waves coming from the colliding of two accelerating masses, it also revealed that the two objects were relatively small in size for their mass, which is characteristic of a black hole, therefore proving their existence (Cho). This Nobel Prize awarded physics experiment advanced remote-sensing technologies by proving a theory that had been impossible to prove for over a hundred years, allowing more research to be done in the future.
Gravitational waves could also be useful for the military as a tool to improve communication technologies as they are unaffected by obstructions such as the mass of the earth(“Development of Gravitational Radiation Technology,” 2013). Since most of the research on gravitational waves has been done relating to physics and cosmology, a lot more research has to be done for it to truly improve communications technologies. According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a communication system using gravitational waves could replace satellite-based communications and navigations systems, which are vulnerable and require large ground infrastructures that need a lot of maintenance (“Development of Gravitational Radiation Technology,” 2013).
In its history, Landsat has presented ethical dilemmas about surveillance and sovereignty. It is used to get satellite images of Earth from space. Because it is used to get images anywhere across the globe, it has raised many issues. For example, it can be used to monitor other countries, or to find resources in parts of the world not accessible to other countries. With the help of Landsat, private companies have been able to find resources to exploit in other countries, which brings on the issue of sovereignty. LIGO, by contrast, is used to obtain information about space from Earth. It is used to study gravitational waves coming from outer space, which does not raise ethical dilemmas associated with the collection of information across borders. Both Landsat and LIGO are remote-sensing technologies, but they each collect information about two different kinds of things.