Remote sensing in it's broadest sense is simply defined as the observation of an object
from some distance. In the case of volcanic clouds this often means observing an
eruptive event using imaging tools positioned on satellites. To understand how these
tools operate the first thing that must be understood is what the instruments are
actually measuring.
Electromagnetic Spectrum
All objects at a temperature greater than absolute zero emit, absorb, and reflect
electormagnetic energy. This energy, measured in photons travels in the form of
waves at a variety of wavelengths. The complete array of wavelengths is known as
the electromagnetic spectrum which is brocken down into regions that are defined by
specific wavelenghts.

As this energy travels through the Earth's atmosphere some is reflected and some is
absorbed and reemitted. By measuring the energy reaching a satellite one can
characterize the features producing the reponse recorded by the sensor.

Radiation Laws - having some problems making images of
Kirchhoff's Law states that for all blackbodies at the same temperature, the ratio of
emitted radiation to absorbed radiation is the same. Emissivity is then calculated as
the ratio of the emittatnce of an object and the emittance of a blackbody at the same

This law shows that as the temperature of an object increases the wavelength of maximum emittance increaeses. ansd is responsible for our sky appearing blue. Total emitted radiation is calculated by: Lastly. Interactions with the Earth's Atmosphere All electromagnetic radiation must travel through the Earth's atmosphere and along the way several things can happen to the radiation that alter the radiation in some way either by redirection or a change in energy level.  Scattering . It is dependant upon the number of particles present in the atmosphere. The further away a sensor is from it's target. Insert Rayleigh graph and or equation here . favoring short wavelengths. Wien's Displacement Law describes the relationship between the wavelength of emitted radiation and the temperature of the object. Particles that are small relative to the wavelength of incoming radiation create rayleigh scattering.Stefan-Boltzmann Law states that the energy per unit area that a blackbody emits increases as the temperature of the blackbody increases. the wavemlength of incoming radiation and the depth of atmosphere that the radiation must travel through. the size of the particles.Scattering is the redirection of EM energy by particles suspended in the atmphere. the the larger the atmospheric effects are upon the radiation. Rayleigh scattering is wave length dependant.

Mie scattering is produced by particles having diameter approzimately equal to the wavelength of the imcoming radiation. There are three gasses in the atmosphere that are responsible for most of the absorption in the earth's atmosphere. . Energy that is absorbed is then re-emitted at a longer wavelengths.nonselective scattering is not wavelength dependant and scatters all wavelengths equally.  Absorption . As the name implies. The amount of energy absorbed is dependant upon the absorber and the wavelength of incoming radiation. haze and water droplets in the lower atmosphere. Mie scattering is typically created by dust. smoke. The scattering produced by very large particles relative to the incoming radiation is nonselective.Absorption occurs when atmospheric particles do not allow EM radiation to be fully transmitted.