Remote Sensing Principles and Applications, Part I

Daniela Viviana Vladutescu, NYCCT/CUNY (2013-10-02)

Today’s remote sensing activities can broadly be subdivided into active and passive remote sensing from the Earth’s surface and/or from satellites. Active collection emits energy in order to scan objects and areas whereupon a sensor then detects and measures the radiation that is reflected or backscattered from the target. RADAR is an example of active remote sensing where the time delay between emission and return is measured, establishing the location, height, speed and direction of an object. In passive remote sensing, the source of information is scattered and/or absorbed solar and emitted thermal radiation that allows clues on climate system components through their spectrally variable response.

In terms of observation platforms satellites provide valuable opportunities for collecting global fields of many climate system variables. Airborne field measurement campaigns offer an adequate opportunity to develop new remote sensing algorithms and to define demands of new satellite missions. In addition, surface based measurements allow better controlled and temporally higher resolving measurements, especially of boundary layer and lower atmosphere quantities. Several of these “new” observing systems are now developed into reliable systems for routine standard observations, that are more and more recognized as valuable tools for the observation of relevant climate processes on various scales in time and space, space surveillance and target detection.

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