The reason Russia has so much expertise in space (they flew several space stations) stems from the cold war era. During that time, the Russians had Salyut space stations manned with cosmonauts where cameras would fill half of the space station. The reason they had to man the cameras is that the earth is always covered with clouds and the Russians did not have much computing power to process away images with clouds. I talked about this in the following entry: Competing with the human element
The point is that we generally look at clouds as an impediment to imaging. With compressive sensing however, I am wondering the following: Could we use clouds as part of an imaging process ?
The light from the sun bounces from the ground onto the cloud and then some of it bounces back to the ground (cloud albedo).
Could we use some means of determining all the features of these clouds and then use that information to evaluate the cloud albedo. Then use the cloud albedo information to determine the PSF of that system from the sunlight.
The idea comes from the very intriguing paper: The Design of Compressive Sensing Filter by Lianlin Li, Wenji Zhang, Yin Xiang, Fang Li where one could use the different layers of the ionosphere to produce compressed measurements.
I know it sounds a litte crazy but I need to convince myself that it cannot be done by looking at the cloud radiation albedo numbers, so I need to digg this a little further.