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Introduction of Remote Sensing

Definition History of Remote Sensing

Basic components of Remote sensing

Electromagnetic Remote Sensing Process Electromagnetic spectrum Passive and active remote sensing

Different types of Resolution

Spatial Resolution Spectral Resolution Radiometric Resolution Temporal Resolution

Characteristics of various sensors Satellites: IRS Fundamentals of Image Processing


Remote sensing is the science of obtaining information about an object, area or phenomenon through the analysis of data

acquired by a device that is not in contact with the object, area or phenomenon under investigation

DATA ACQUISITION (a) the energy source; (b) propagation of energy through the atmosphere; (c) energy interaction with the earth features; (d) Retransmission of energy through the atmosphere; (e) Sensing System: airborne and /or space borne sensors; (f)Sensing product: generation of sensor data in pictorial and/or numerical form. DATA ANALYSIS (g) Interpretation and analysis: examining the data using various viewing and interpretation devices; (h) Information Product : data presentation in the form of maps, tables or reports; (i) Users: Information presented to users Data usage in decision making process.

Electromagnetic Radiation Two characteristics of electromagnetic Radiation wavelength frequency.

c where : wavelength of light c speed of light 3 108 m / s frequency of light


The Electromagnetic Spectrum

EM spectrum used in remote sensing lie along a continuum characteristised by magnitude changes of many powers of 10 EM spectrum in logarithmic plot Visible portion of such plot extremely small, since the spectral sensitivity of human eye extends only from 0.4 to 0.7 m Primary color BGR B - 0.4 to 0.5 m; G -0.5 to 0.6 m; R 0.6 to 0.7 m

IR waves
Near IR: 0.7 to 1.5 m Mid IR: 1.3 to 3 m

Thermal IR: Beyond 3 to 14 m Only Thermal IR energy is directly related to sensation of heat.

Most common sensing system operate in one or

several of the visible, IR or microwave portion s of the spectrum


Three basic laws governing the Remote sensing process

Planck law: E= h
Stefan -Boltzmann law: M= T4

: M= T4 [for perfectly black body, =1 ] Weins displacement law: m= A/T


E=energy of a quantum h=plancks constant = frequency of light, Hertz or sec-1 M= Total radiant exitance from the surface of material, W/m2 = Stefan- Boltzmann constant,5.6697 10-8 Wm-2K-4 = Emissivity

T= absolute temperature of emitting material

m= wavelength of maximum spectral radiant exitance, m A= 2898 m K,


Energy interactions in the atmosphere

The atmosphere is not completely

transparent. The outgoing spectral radiance of objects at the earths surface is modified before it reaches the sensor.


Atmospheric window
The atmospheric gasses, carbon dioxide, ozone and water vapour, causes reflection, scattering, and attenuation of energy, so that only a few windows are available through which part of all the pertinent radiation is transmitted.
One important atmospheric window exists in

the visible spectral region (0.4 - 0.7 m). There are three windows in the infrared region (3.0 4.5 m, 8.5 14.0 m and 17. 19.0 m ).


Ex. Assume the speed of light to be 3x108 m/s. If the frequency of an electromagnetic wave is 500,000 GHz (GHz =gigahertz = 109 m/s), what is the wavelength of that radiation? Express your answer in micrometres (m).


Energy interactions with earth surface features


The proportion of energy reflected, absorbed

and transmitted will vary for at different wavelength even for a given feature type. Thus, two features may be indistinguishable in one spectral range and be different in another wavelength band. The reflectance characteristics of earth surface features may be quantified by measuring the portion of incident energy that is reflected. This is measured as a function of wavelength, and is called Spectral Reflectance, R.

ER() Energy of wavelength reflected from the object R= = 100 EI() Energy of wavelength incident on the object
A graph of a spectral reflectance of an object

as a function of wavelength is termed as Spectral Reflectance Curve



Spatial Resolution
Spatial resolution may be defined as the

minimum distance between two objects that a sensor can record distinctly...[but] it is the format of the sensor system that determines how spatial resolution is measured'. Spectral Resolution- It is the width of the spectral bands in which the image is taken

Radiometric Resolution- It is the capability to differentiate the spectral reflectance/emittance between various

targets. Temporal Resolution- It explains how often sensor records imagery of a particular area [which means frequency of repetitive coverage]


Side looking Air Borne Radar

Synthetic aperture Radar


Radar is essentially a ranging or distance measuring device. It consists fundamentally of a transmitter, a receiver, an antenna, and

an electronics system to process and record the data.


By measuring the time delay between the transmission of a pulse and the reception of the backscattered "echo" from different

targets, their distance from the radar and thus their location can be determined.
As the sensor platform moves forward, recording and processing of the backscattered signals builds up a two-

dimensional image of the surface.


ct SR 2
Slant range [direct distance between transmitter and object] c= speed of light T= time between pulse transmission and echo reception


A radar systems look angle is the angle from nadir point to a point of intersect on the ground Slant range resolution, SR Ground range resolution, Rr c Rr 2 cos d Azimuth resolution, Ra



c Rr 2 cos d



Ex . A given SLAR system transmits pulses over a duration of 0.1 sec. Find the range resolution of the system at a depression angle 450 c Ans: 21m


Ex. A given SLAR system has a 1.8 mrad antenna beamwidth. Determine the azimuthal resolution of the system at ranges of and 12 km Ans: 10.8 m & 21.6 m

2 cos d


Ex. A given SLAR system has a 2 mrad antenna beamwidth and wavelength of the transmitted pulse is 5 cm. Determine the length of the antenna Ans: 25 m



The deficiencies of brute force operation are overcome in

synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems.

Having short physical antenna through modified data

recording and processing techniques, but synthesize the effect of a very long antenna.
antenna beamwidth, even at far ranges, without requiring physically long antenna or a short operating wavelength. complex

The result of this mode of operation is a narrow effective

At the detailed level, the operation of SAR systems is quite


Fig. Concept of an array of real antenna positions forming a Synthetic Aperture Radar


Operate on the principle of using the sensor motion along

track to transform a single physically short antenna into an array of such antennas that can be linked together mathematically as part the data recording and processing procedures
The "real" antenna is shown in several successive

positions along the flight line.

These successive positions are treated mathematically as if they are simply sucessive elements of a single long synthetic antenna

Fig. Variation of spatial resolution of a) SLAR b) SAR


Albedo : Ratio of the amount of electromagnetic

energy (solar radiation) reflected by a surface to the amount of energy incident upon the surface.
ASTER - Advanced Spaceborne Thermal

Emission and Reflection Radiometer.

AVHRR - Advanced very high-resolution radiometer.

AVIRIS - Airborne visible-infrared imaging

spectrometer. Band - Broadcasting frequency within given limits. A subdivision within an electromagnetic region. Bandwidth- The total range of frequency required to pass a specific modulated (spectral resolution) signal without distortion or loss of data. The wavelength interval recorded by a detector.


ETM+ - Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus

EM - Electromagnetic
GPS - Global Positioning System GIS - Global Information System / Geographic

Information System IFOV - Instantaneous field of view: the solid angle through which a detector is sensitive to radiation.
In a scanning system, the solid angle subtended by

the detector when the scanning motion is stopped.


IKONOS - A high-resolution earth observation satellite launched in 1999, which occupies a 682-km sun synchronous orbit and
employs linear array technology collecting data in

four multispectral bands at a nominal resolution of 4 m, as well as a 1-m-resolution panchromatic band.


Landsat: A series of unmanned NASA earth

resource satellites that acquire multispectral images in the visible and IR bands. Remote sensing of energy naturally reflected or radiated from the terrain. Radiation: Act of giving off electromagnetic energy. RGB [ Red, Green, and Blue]the colors used in constructing visible and false color image representations. MIR : Mid Infrared

Spatial Resolution The ability to distinguish between closely spaced objects on an image.
Commonly expressed as the most closely spaced

line-pairs per unit distance distinguishable.

Spectral Reflectance : Reflectance of

electromagnetic energy at specified wavelength intervals. Spectral Resolution Range of wavelengths recorded by a detector. (bandwidth)

NAD - North Atlantic Datum

NDVI - Normalized Difference Vegetation

Index NIR - Near Infrared


SWIR : Short Wave Infrared

TM : Thematic Mapper UTM : Universal Transverse Mercator VI Vegetation Index NIR : Near Infrared