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Definition of remote sensing
Remote sensing is the small- or large-scale acquisition of information of an object or phenomenon, by the use of either recording or real-time sensing device(s) that are wireless, or not in physical or intimate contact with the object (such as by way of aircraft, spacecraft, satellite, buoy, or ship). Earth observation or weather satellite collection platforms, ocean and atmospheric observing weather buoy platforms, the monitoring of a parolee via an ultrasound identification system, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), X-radiation (X-RAY) and space probes are all examples of remote sensing.
Components of remote sensing
4 basic components of a remote sensing system
y y y y
energy source transmission path target sensor
1. Energy Source or Illumination (A) - the first requirement for remote sensing is to have an energy source which illuminates or provides electromagnetic energy to the target of interest. 2. Radiation and the Atmosphere (B) - as the energy travels from its source to the target, it will come in contact with and interact with the atmosphere it passes through. This interaction may take place a second time as the energy travels from the target to the sensor. 3. Interaction with the Target (C) - once the energy makes its way to the target through the atmosphere, it interacts with the target depending on the properties of both the target and the radiation.
not in contact with the target) to collect and record the electromagnetic radiation.after the energy has been scattered by. reveal some new information. we require a sensor (remote . to a receiving and processing station where the data are processed into an image (hardcopy and/or digital). 7.the energy recorded by the sensor has to be transmitted. visually and/or digitally or electronically. on the other hand. and Processing (E) . often in electronic form.the final element of the remote sensing process is achieved when we apply the information we have been able to extract from the imagery about the target in order to better understand it. 6. Application (G) . Examples of passive remote sensors include film photography. Recording of Energy by the Sensor (D) . charge-coupled devices. Active remote sensing. y Active and Passive remote sensing There are two main types of remote sensing: passive remote sensing and active remote sensing.4. Transmission. infrared. or assist in solving a particular problem. and radiometers. to extract information about the target which was illuminated. Passive sensors detect natural radiation that is emitted or reflected by the object or surrounding area being observed. or emitted from the target. Reception. 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.the processed image is interpreted. Interpretation and Analysis (F) . Reflected sunlight is the most common source of radiation measured by passive sensors. 5. RADAR is an example of active .
which are often the basis for topographic maps). One of the most significant advantages is that balloons can be deployed quickly and data collected immediately. movie production. The term usually refers to images in which the camera is not supported by a ground-based structure.remote sensing where the time delay between emission and return is measured. remote sensing is sometimes conducted from the space shuttle or. tethered balloons could be deployed on small boats in rivers to conduct water quality surveys over several stream miles. land-use planning. . surveillance. the Earth. A balloon system could be deployed to monitor a specific site for hours or days which would be logistically difficult or impossible with current airborne imagery. communication. Aerial photography is used in cartography (particularly in photogrammetric surveys. Extensive operator training is not required. the moon is a natural satellite. balloons could be sent up quickly to monitor chemical spills or accidental releases. scaffolding. and artistic projects. more commonly. cherry-picker. environmental studies. y Platforms ± aerial and spatial platforms Aerial photography is the taking of photographs of the ground from an elevated position. establishing the location. Because of their orbits.in this case. conveyancing. whereas man-made satellites include those platforms launched for remote sensing. There are several advantages to using balloons or blimps as platforms for remote sensing data collection. In space. and telemetry (location and navigation) purposes. commercial advertising. Aerial platforms are primarily stable wing aircraft. Balloons may also be able to collect data that current helicopter or fixed wing cameras cannot. etc. crane. For example. Aircraft are often used to collect very detailed images and facilitate the collection of data over virtually any portion of the Earth's surface at any time. Tethered balloons can be moved and relocated easily. Sensors may be placed on a ladder. Satellites are objects which revolve around another object . archaeology. The term 'spatial remote sensing' is used to describe the measurements taken from satellites (the term 'airborne remote sensing' is used when such measurements are taken from aircraft). Cost is often a significant factor in choosing among the various platform options. from satellites. For instance. Advances in radio controlled models have made it possible for model aircraft to conduct lowaltitude aerial photography. although helicopters are occasionally used. For instance. tall building. satellites permit repetitive coverage of the Earth's surface on a continuing basis. providing a more flexible method to collect data. speeds and direction of an object. height.
this is what is called the visible spectrum. these types include (in order of increasing frequency and decreasing wavelength): radio waves. Electromagnetic radiation consists of: Electrical Field (E) which varies in magnitude in a direction perpendicular to the direction in which the radiation is traveling. A small and somewhat variable window of frequencies is sensed by the eyes of various organisms. Both these fields travel at the speed of light (c). . microwaves. Electromagnetic radiation is classified into several types according to the frequency of its wave. X-rays and gamma rays. ultraviolet radiation.y Synoptivity and repetivity y Electromagnetic Radiation Electromagnetic radiation (often abbreviated E-M radiation or EMR) is a phenomenon that takes the form of self-propagating waves in a vacuum or in matter. infrared radiation. and a Magnetic Field (M) oriented at right angles to the electrical field. The photon is the quantum of the electromagnetic interaction and the basic "unit" of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation and is also the force carrier for the electromagnetic force. visible light.
Wavelength is usually represented by the Greek letter lambda (P). 2. micrometres (mm. and various multiples of hertz. The wavelength is the length of one wave cycle. . 109 metres). Wavelength and frequency are related by the following formula: y The electromagnetic spectrum .Two characteristics of electromagnetic radiation are particularly important for understanding remote sensing. .Wavelength is measured in metres (m) or some factor of metres such as nanometres (nm. which can be measured as the distance between successive wave crests. equivalent to one cycle per second. Frequency refers to the number of cycles of a wave passing a fixed point per unit of time. 10-2 metres). . 10-6 metres) or centimetres (cm. These are the wavelength and frequency: 1.Frequency is normally measured in hertz (Hz).
but can be detected by other remote sensing instruments and used to our advantage The visible wavelengths cover a range from approximately 0. Although we see sunlight as a uniform or homogeneous colour. green.4 to 0. but all other colours can be formed by combining blue. They are defined as such because no single primary colour can be created from the other two. visible and infrared portions of the spectrum . green. There are several regions of the electromagnetic spectrum which are useful for remote sensing.The Electromagnetic Spectrum ranges from the shorter wavelengths (including gamma and xrays) to the longer wavelengths (including microwaves and broadcast radio waves).7 mm (violet to red) Blue. The light which our eyes can detect is part of the visible spectrum (small) There is a lot of radiation around us which is "invisible" to our eyes. it is actually composed of various wavelengths of radiation in primarily the ultraviolet. and red are the primary colours or wavelengths of the visible spectrum. and red in various proportions.
more than 100 times as wide as the visible portion! The infrared region can be divided into two categories based on their radiation properties .0 mm to 100 mm. Some Earth surface materials. The reflected IR covers wavelengths from approximately 0. The thermal IR covers wavelengths from approximately 3.the reflected IR.0 mm. fluoresce or emit visible light when illuminated by UV radiation. and the emitted or thermal IR. the ultraviolet or UV portion of the spectrum has the shortest wavelengths which are practical for remote sensing.For most purposes. . The infrared (IR) region covers the wavelength range from approximately 0. The thermal IR region is quite different than the visible and reflected IR portions. Thermal IR energy is more commonly known as "heat". This radiation is just beyond the violet portion of the visible wavelengths. Radiation in the reflected IR region is used for remote sensing purposes in ways very similar to radiation in the visible portion.7 mm to 3. as this energy is essentially the radiation that is emitted from the Earth's surface in the form of heat. hence its name. primarily rocks and minerals.7 mm to 100 mm .
5 m). Physical processes that are relevant for this range are similar to those for visible light. and by phonons in solids. This covers the longest wavelengths used for remote sensing. The lower part of this range may also be called microwaves. . Near-infrared. This range is sometimes called the fingerprint region since the mid-infrared absorption spectrum of a compound is very specific for that compound. However. there are certain wavelength ranges ("windows") within the opaque range which allow partial transmission. This radiation is typically absorbed by so-called rotational modes in gasphase molecules. from 120 to 400 THz (2. It can be divided into three parts: y y y Far-infrared.The infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum covers the range from roughly 300 GHz (1 mm) to 400 THz (750 nm). Mid-infrared. The water in the Earth's atmosphere absorbs so strongly in this range that it renders the atmosphere effectively opaque. The shorter wavelengths have properties similar to the thermal infrared region while the longer wavelengths approach the wavelengths used for radio broadcasts. from 30 to 120 THz (10 to 2. reserving far infrared for wavelengths below 200 m. The portion of the spectrum of more recent interest to remote sensing is the microwave region from about 1 mm to 1 m.500 to 750 nm). and can be used for astronomy. It is absorbed by molecular vibrations. where the different atoms in a molecule vibrate around their equilibrium positions. The wavelength range from approximately 200 m up to a few mm is often referred to as "sub-millimetre" in astronomy. by molecular motions in liquids. Hot objects (black-body radiators) can radiate strongly in this range. from 300 GHz (1 mm) to 30 THz (10 m).
However. the color of a hotter object is closer to the blue end of the spectrum and the color of a cooler object is closer to the red. white. orange. black bodies start to emit visible wavelengths.y y Blackbody Radiation black body is an idealized object that absorbs all electromagnetic radiation falling on it. continuous spectrum. and the higher frequency is related to the higher temperature. but as the temperature increases past a few hundred degrees Celsius. Because no light (visible electromagnetic radiation) is reflected or transmitted. the higher the frequency. Planck's law describes the spectral radiance of electromagnetic radiation at all wavelengths emitted in the normal direction from a black body in a cavity in thermodynamic equilibrium. a black body emits a temperaturedependent spectrum of light. At room temperature. yellow. As a function of frequency and absolute temperature T . the shorter the wavelength. By the time an object is white. appearing red. Blackbodies absorb and incandescently re-emit radiation in a characteristic. Thus. black bodies emit mostly infrared wavelengths. y . the object appears black when it is cold. it is emitting substantial ultraviolet radiation. This thermal radiation from a black body is termed blackbody radiation. and blue with increasing temperature. Plank's Radiation Law for Blackbodies gives the spectral radiance of an object as a function of its temperature. In the blackbody spectrum.
energy flux density. Instead. a doubling of temperature means an increase of energy emitted at the surface increases by a factor of 16. characterized by its emissivity. the one that doesn't absorb or emit the full amount of radiative flux. UNIT 2 EMR interaction with atmosphere and earth materials . also known as Stefan's law. is directly proportional to the fourth power of the black body's thermodynamic temperature T (also called absolute temperature): A more general case is of a grey body. : According to the Stefan-Boltzmann law. it radiates a portion of it. states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body per unit time (known variously as the black-body irradiance. or the emissive power). j*. This means that a star with twice the temperature has 16 times the energy.y Stefan Boltzmann law The Stefan±Boltzmann law. radiant flux.
This layer is primarily responsible for absorbing the ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. it is air moves as currents. The air pressure at the top of the troposphere is only 10% of that at sea level. a particularly reactive form of oxygen. The Stratosphere and the Ozone Layer Above the troposphere is the stratosphere. and wind. up-and downdrafts. (Jet Stream) The Mesosphere and Ionosphere Above the stratosphere is the mesosphere and above that is the ionosphere (or thermosphere). where air flow is mostly horizontal. The boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere lies 6-17 km above Earth and is called the tropopause. where many atoms are ionized (have gained or lost electrons so they have a net electrical charge). The thin ozone layer in the upper stratosphere has a high concentration of ozone. The density of gas molecules in the ionosphere is very thin aurora absorbs the most energetic solar radiation reflects radio waves.y Atmospheric characteristics Four layers of the atmosphere: 1) Troposphere (0-15 km) 2) Stratosphere (15-50 km) 3) Mesosphere (50-90 km) Thermosphere or Ionosphere (>80 km The Troposphere The troposphere is where all weather takes place. .
and Reflection Absorption (A) occurs when radiation (energy) is absorbed into the target while transmission (T) occurs when radiation passes through a target. we are most interested in measuring the radiation reflected from targets. Reflection (R) occurs when radiation "bounces" off the target and is redirected. y y y The amount of energy absorbed. In remote sensing. Reflection from surfaces occurs in two ways: . transmitted or reflected by a material will depend upon: Wavelength of the energy Material constituting the surface. These are Absorption Transmission.y Scattering of EMR Electromagnetic radiation that passes through the earth's atmosphere without being absorbed or scattered reaches the earth's surface to interact in different ways with different materials constituting the surface. There are three ways in which the total incident energy will interact with earth's surface materials. and Condition of the feature.
These could be particles such as small specks of dust or nitrogen and oxygen molecules. this leaves a greater proportion of the longer wavelengths to penetrate the atmosphere. 2. . the energy is reflected uniformly in almost all directions. This is called Specular Reflection and gives rise to images. blue) of the visible spectrum are scattered more than the other (longer) visible wavelengths. the shorter wavelengths (i. we get a mirror-like or smooth reflection where all (or almost all) of the incident energy is reflected in one direction. When the surface is rough.e. When the surface is smooth. This is called Diffuse Reflection and does not give rise to images.1. As sunlight passes through the atmosphere. y Rayleigh scattering Rayleigh scattering occurs when particles are very small compared to the wavelength of the radiation. Rayleigh scattering causes shorter wavelengths of energy to be scattered much more than longer wavelengths. Rayleigh scattering is the dominant scattering mechanism in the upper atmosphere. The fact that the sky appears "blue during the day is because of this phenomenon. At sunrise and sunset the light has to travel farther through the atmosphere than at midday and the scattering of the shorter wavelengths is more complete.
Mie scattering occurs mostly in the lower portions of the atmosphere where larger particles are more abundant. . Dust. pollen. Nonselective scattering gets its name from the fact that all wavelengths are scattered about equally. smoke and water vapour are common causes of Mie scattering which tends to affect longer wavelengths than those affected by Rayleigh scattering. and red light are all scattered in approximately equal quantities (blue+green+red light = white light). This type of scattering causes fog and clouds to appear white to our eyes because blue. This occurs when the particles are much larger than the wavelength of the radiation. y Nonselective scattering The final scattering mechanism of importance is called nonselective scattering. Water droplets and large dust particles can cause this type of scattering. green. and dominates when cloud conditions are overcast.y Mie scattering Mie scattering occurs when the particles are just about the same size as the wavelength of the radiation.
y Raman scattering Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a technique whereby the molecule under investigation is adsorbed on a metallic structure. fcc arrangement of silica spheres with a precise control over the pitch and hence the gratings' depth. typically made of silver. show a significant enhancement to specific vibrational lines. Coupling into surface plasmon modes of these two-dimensional structures should therefore. Raman signals are amplified through an interaction between the pump light and the surface plasmons propagating in the metal. y y EMR interaction with water vapour and ozone . Opalline structures are made of a dosed pack. Gratings are better suited to couple light into the surface plasmon modes owing to momentum conservation conditions.