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INTRODUCTION TO REMOTE SENSING:

PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS


Subjects Considered in this Course

I. Basic Principles of Remote Sensing

II. Methods using Different Wavelengths

A. Sensor Characteristics

B. Calibration of Data

C. Applications of Data
Collecting Data about the Earth
 In Situ
• observations at the study site
• transducers in direct contact with object
• measurements are analog voltages
related to physical variations
• examples: thermometer, seismograph,
TDR

 Remotely Sensed Information


What is Remote Sensing?

•Remote sensing is the science (and to some extent, art) of


acquiring information about an object without actually
being in contact with it. This is done by sensing and
recording reflected or emitted energy and processing,
analyzing, and applying that information.
•Remote sensing involves gathering information about an
object without being in physical contact with that object.

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
Extended Definitions of Remote
Sensing
Remote sensing is the science of obtaining information
about an object, area, or phenomena through the analysis of
data acquired by a device that is not in contact with the
object, area, or phenomena under investigation.

Remote sensing is the acquisition of data and derivative


information about objects or materials (targets) located at
the Earth’s surface or in its atmosphere using sensors
mounted on platforms located at distance from the targets
to make measurements (usually multispectral) of
interactions between the targets and electromagnetic
radiation.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS, YOU
ARE DOING REMOTE SENSING
 the SENSOR
• your eye responding to the light reflected from
the screen
 the DATA
• impulses acquired by your eye corresponding to
the amount of light reflected from the light and
dark areas on the screen
 the ANALYSIS
• your mental computer (brain) interpreting
letters, words, and sentences to derive
information
Remotely Sensed Data
 Remotely sensed data is collected by remote
sensing instruments
 Remote sensing instruments detect energy
emitted from or reflected by objects on the
Earth’s surface
• To measure and monitor electromagnetic variation
 Remotely sensed data provide us with complete,
cost--effective, repetitive spatial and temporal
cost
coverage, which means….
• The various phenomena can be analyzed synoptically,
and assessment and monitoring of land conditions and
trend can be carried over large regions

http://www.geom.unimelb.edu.au/gisweb/SDEModule/SDE_Theory_RS.htm
Remotely Sensed Data
 Remotely sensed data represents
information about the Earth’s surface
collected from sensors

http://www.geom.unimelb.edu.au/gisweb/SDEModule/SDE_Theory_RS.htm
Remotely Sensed Data
 Image data is in raster format (raster data is a
series of cells each with a discrete value, whereas vector
data is a series of points, lines and polygons)
 Image data includes satellite data, aerial
photographs, or scanned data
 Each grid-
grid-cell, or pixel represent a value
depending on how the image was taken
• A pixel in satellite image represents a certain
value of reflected or emitted portion of the
electromagnetic spectrum of the light energy

http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect2/Sect2_1.html
http://www.geom.unimelb.edu.au/gisweb/SDEModule/SDE_Theory_RS.htm
Pixels

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
Image vs. Photograph
It is important to distinguish between the terms image and
photograph in remote sensing.
An image refers to any pictorial representation, regardless
of what wavelengths or remote sensing device has been
used to detect and record the electromagnetic energy.
A photograph refers specifically to images that have been
detected as well as recorded on photographic film.
A photograph could also be represented and displayed in a
digital format by subdividing the image into small equally
sized and shaped areas, called picture elements or pixels,
and representing the brightness of each area with a
numeric value or digital number.

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
http://www.eikongraphia.com/images/Sattelite%20Photogr
aph%20Burj%20Al%20Arab%20(1)%20S.jpg
Remote Sensing Includes
 Mapping
 Measuring
 Monitoring
 Modeling
Why Remote Sensing?
 Synoptic perspective
 Unique vantage point
 Extra--visual information
Extra
 Historical and permanent record
What Does Remote Sensing Support?

For Ethiopia, this includes:

• Agriculture/forest monitoring
• Water resources assessment and exploration
• Non-fuel mineral exploration
• Infrastructure planning and development
• Geologic assessment and monitoring
How does remote sensing work?
The Remote Sensing Process

Energy Source or Illumination (A)


Radiation and the Atmosphere (B)
Interaction with the Target (C)
Recording of Energy by the
Sensor (D)
Transmission, Reception, and
Processing (E)
Interpretation and Analysis (F)
Application (G)

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
optical
Sun
imaging
satellite

atmosphere-space interface

Earth surface

Atmospheric molecules (H2O, CO2, SO2) and aerosols scatter a


portion of the solar irradiance back to a satellite detector before
Interacting with the Earth’s surface. This backscatter needs to be
removed from the detector data.
Remote Sensing
 Passive: use available EM energy
Passive:
(solar)
 Camera without flash

 Active: produce their own energy


Active:
(active radar systems)
 Camera with flash
Remote Sensing and the
Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS)
 Remote sensing involves measuring radiation
within the EMS
 The EMS is a chart of the distribution of radiant
energy as a function of wavelength (or
frequency)
 The approximate range of wavelengths included
in the electromagnetc spectrum is from 10-15
meters to more than 108 meters. In the english
system, that is equal to about 4x10-14 inches to
more than 100,000 miles.
Electro-magnetic energy
Particle Theory
 describes EMR as being composed of
many discrete units called photons or
quanta.. The energy of a quantum is
quanta
given as:

E=h

υ
Wave--Quantum combined
Wave

E=hc/λ
E=hc/ λ

Energy is inversely proportional to


wavelength
Sources of Energy
 The sun is the most obvious source
of EMR for remote sensing

 but ALL matter at temperatures


(0 oK or -2730
above absolute zero (0
oC) continuously emit EMR.

 The amount of energy emitted is a


function of the objects surface
temperature as set forth in the
Stefan--Boltzmann Law
Stefan
The Stefan-
Stefan-Boltzmann Law

W = σ T4
W = total radiant exitance, W / m2
σ = Stefan-
Stefan-Boltzmann constant,
10--8 W / m2 / K4
5.6697 x 10
T = absolute temperature (K)

 NB This law is stated for a Blackbody (a


hypothetical, ideal radiator that totally
absorbs and reemits all energy incident
upon it.
Wien’s Displacement Law
 The spectral distribution of emitted energy
also varies with temperature according to
Wien’s Displacement Law.
λm = A/T

λm = wavelength of maximum spectral


emittance
A = 2898 µm K
T = temperature, K
Energy radiated from blackbodies at various To
Visible radiant energy band
9
10 -
| |
8
10 - Blackbody radiation curve

6000 k at the sun's Temperature


Spectral radiant exitance, Mλ (W m µm )
-1

7
10 -
4000 k Blackbody radiation curve at
-2

6
10 - incandescent lamp Temperature
3000 k
5
10 - 2000 k
4
10 -
1000 k
3
10 -
Blackbody radiation curve
2
10 - 500 k at the earth's Temperature

1
10 - 300 k
200 k
0 -
| | | | | | | | | |

0.1 0.2 0.5 1 2 5 10 20 50 100


Wavelength (µm)
The spectrum is typically divided into nine basic sections including: cosmic rays,
gamma rays, x rays, ultraviolet, light (visible), infrared, microwaves, broadcast
waves, and power transmission. All of these forms of energy are inherently
similar and radiate in accordance with basic wave theory. This theory
describes electromagnetic energy as traveling as a harmonic, sinusoidal
waveform at the speed of light, “c.”
c = λf, where
λ (wavelength) = distance from one wave peak to the next
f (frequency) = number of peaks passing a fixed point in space per unit
of time
c (speed of light) = 299,793 km/sec (~3x108 m/sec)
Ultraviolet

Some Earth surface


materials, primarily
rocks and minerals,
fluoresce or emit
visible light when
illuminated by UV
radiation.

0.400 – 0.446 µm

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
Optical (Reflected) Radiation

Blue: 0.446-0.500 µm
Green: 0.500-0.578 µm
Yellow: 0.578-0.592 µm
Orange: 0.592-0.620 µm
Red: 0.620-0.700 µm

Visible (VIS) wavelengths = 0.4 - 0.7 micrometers


Infrared (IR)
•Reflected IR -
used for remote
sensing in ways
similar to the visible
wavelengths
•Thermal IR -
measures radiation
emitted from the
Earth’s surface in
the form of heat
Near infrared: 0.7-0.9 µm
Middle infrared: 3.0-5.5 µm
Far or thermal infrared: 8-14 µm

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
Microwave
Longest
wavelengths
used for
remote sensing

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
Some important terminology

• Radiance
• Reflectance
• BRDF
• Emissivity
• Spectral…
Some important terminology

• Radiance
• Reflectance
• BRDF
• Emissivity
• Spectral…
Radiance

• The radiance flux


density transmitted
from a small area on
the Earth’s surface
and viewed through
a unit solid angle
Radiance

• Expressed in W m-2 sr-1


Radiance

• Expressed in W m-2 sr-1

Watts, unit of power


(joules per second)
Radiance

• Expressed in W m-2 sr-1

Square metres,
the size of the area
on the ground
(instantaneous
resolution or pixel
size)
Radiance

• Expressed in W m-2 sr-1

Steradian, unit solid


angle subtended
by detector area
or aperture
Radiance

• What is actually measured


by a sensor
Some important terminology

• Radiance
• Reflectance
• BRDF
• Emissivity
• Spectral…
Reflectance

• The ratio of reflected to


incident radiant flux

•It is sometimes known as


the albedo of the surface
Some important terminology

• Radiance
• Reflectance
• BRDF
• Emissivity
• Spectral…
BRDF

• Most terrestrial
surfaces are non-
Lambertian
BRDF

• Therefore a proper
definition of reflectance has
to consider the angular
distribution of irradiance and
observation

Irradiance: the amount


of energy falling on a
given area of surface

Emittance(Exitance):
the amount of energy
leaving a given area of
surface
BRDF

• Therefore a proper
definition of reflectance has
to consider the angular
distribution of irradiance and
observation

• This is called the bi-


directional reflectance
distribution function (BRDF)
Some important terminology

• Radiance
• Reflectance
• BRDF
• Emissivity
• Spectral…
Emissivity

• Remember from last lecture: all substances emit


radiation with intensity proportional to the fourth power
of temperature (Stefan-Boltzmann law)
Emissivity

• A blackbody is a theoretical object that absorbs all the


radiation that falls on it and radiates energy at the
maximum possible rate per unit area at each wavelength
for any given temperature

• Naturally occurring emitters can only approach such


an ideal object. How close an object can approach an
ideal blackbody is related to the object's emissivity
Emissivity

• Ratio of radiant exitance of a


surface with that of a blackbody at
the same temperature

• Approximated in the laboratory


with a cavity radiation source
Emissivity

• Nearest thing in nature is water (Emissivity ≈ 0.98)


Some important terminology

• Radiance
• Reflectance
• BRDF
• Emissivity
• Spectral…
Spectral…

• Because in remote sensing our


measurements of radiance,
emissivity or reflectance are
usually related to specific
wavelengths of EMR, we use the
prefix spectral (e.g. spectral
reflectance)
Interactions with the Atmosphere
Before radiation used for remote sensing reaches the Earth's
surface it has to travel through some distance of the Earth’s
atmosphere. Particles and gases in the atmosphere can affect the
incoming light and radiation. Effects on light and radiation are
caused by the mechanisms of scattering and absorption.

Scattering Absorption

http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/ccrs/eduref/tutorial/indexe.html
Factors effecting remote sensing data.
Visible to shortwave infrared (λ = 0.4-2.5 microns):
• atmospheric scattering, cloud cover
• transition element absorptions (Fe+2, Fe+3, Mn)
• molecular vibrational absorptions (CO2, H2O, OH)
• surface penetration about 100 microns

Thermal infrared (λ = 8-12 microns):


• atmospheric conditions that vary surface temperature (e.g., wind)
• not effected by clouds, but by their shadows
• Si-O molecular absorptions, material conductivity and emissivity
• surface penetration measured in meters, depending on source

Microwave or radar (λ = 2.5 – 100 cm):


• no atmospheric or cloud effects (except rain)
• active system – no acquisition time restrictions
• influenced by surface roughness, material’s dielectric constant
• penetrates forest canopy in L and P band
• surface penetration increases with radar wavelength from C band
(< 1 m) to L band (3 m) to P band (10 m)
• P band effected by radio interference
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