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The Impact On Satellite Images Of Earth Observation When Electromagnetic Waves Interact With The Atmosphere

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Bharat Sagar Diwei Zhang Abdel

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Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is a technique to observe the earth surface or the atmosphere from out of space using satellites (space borne) or from the air using aircrafts (airborne).

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Principles Of Remote Sensing

Detection and discrimination of objects or surface features means detecting and recording of radiant energy reflected or emitted by objects or surface material

Stages in Remote Sensing


Emission of EMR (sun/self- emission) Transmission of energy from the source to the surface of the earth, as well as absorption and scattering

Interaction

of EMR with the earths surface: reflection and

emission Transmission of energy from the surface to the remote sensor Sensor data output Data transmission, processing and analysis
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REMOTE SENSING PROCESS

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Types of Remote Sensing


ACTIVE

system have their own source of energy, such as RADAR

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PASSIVE systems depends upon external source of illumination, such as LIDAR

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INTERACTION OF EMR WITH EARTH SURFACE


Radiation

from the sun, when incident upon the earths surface, is either reflected by the surface, transmitted into the surface or absorbed and emitted by the surface

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INTERACTIONS OF EMR WITH THE ATMOSPHERE


(EMR)

from the sun pass through the atmosphere twice once on its journey from the sun to the earth second after being reflected by the surface of the earth back to the sensor.

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Interactions of the direct solar radiation and reflected radiation from the target with the atmospheric constituents interfere with the process of remote sensing and are called as Atmospheric Effects The interaction of EMR with the atmosphere is important to remote sensing for two main reasons. First, information carried by EMR reflected/emitted by the earths surface is modified while traversing through the atmosphere. Second, the interaction of EMR with the atmosphere can be used to obtain useful information about the atmosphere itself

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Top of the Atmosphere


Solar

radiation arrives essentially unchanged by passage through space Interacts with gas molecules, water droplets and aerosols in the atmosphere The solar energy is subjected to modification by several physical processes as it passes the atmosphere
1) Absorption 2) Transmission 3) Reflection and Scattering 4) Diffuse Radiation 5) Refraction

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Absorption
Radiant

energy converted into internal energy Ceases to exist as radiant energy Heats atmosphere directly Very little absorption in visible wavelengths Ozone absorbs most ultraviolet CO2, water vapor and water droplets absorb near infrared Absorption relatively reduces the amount of light that reaches our eye making the scene look relatively duller.

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Transmission
Sunlight

passing through atmosphere without being

altered Light arriving at surface directly from the Sun Makes the disk of the Sun visible Creates patterns of strong light and shadows

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Reflection and Scattering


Interaction

that changes direction of light Reflection from surfaces Radiation redirected away from surface without being absorbed Reflected light makes objects visible Wavelength-dependent reflection sensed as color differences Specular reflection Coherent beam reflected Mirrors, shiny metal and smooth water surfaces

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Scattering

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Light

reflected in all directions Fogged mirror (water droplets) scatter at different angles, so can't see anything in mirror Comparable effect with fog on glass scattering transmitted light Atmospheric molecules and aerosols scatter incoming solar radiation Some forward scattered and continues toward surface at different angle Some back scattered out to space taking energy out of earth-atmosphere system

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Scattering not only reduces the image contrast but also changes the spectral signature of ground objects as seen by the sensor. The amount of scattering depends upon the size of the particles, their abundance, the wavelength of radiation, depth of the atmosphere through which the energy is traveling and the concentration of the particles. Three different types of scattering from particles of different sizes

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Rayleigh Scattering
Scattering

light Primarily atmospheric gas molecules Preferentially scatters shorter wavelengths Violet and blue scattered most, red least In the absence of these particles and scattering the sky would appear black. In the context of remote sensing, the Rayleigh scattering is the most important type of scattering. It causes a distortion of spectral characteristics of the reflected light when compared to measurements taken on the ground.

by objects smaller than wavelengths of visible

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Makes sky away from solar disk appear blue and earth appear blue from space

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Makes red sunsets All wavelengths shorter than red scattered during long pas Best sunsets occur with clear sky except for medium or high clouds Reflect the red light against dark sky background

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Using minus blue filters can eliminate the effects of the Rayleigh component of scattering. However, the effect of heavy haze i.e. when all the wavelengths are scattered uniformly, cannot be eliminated using haze filters. The effects of haze are less pronounced in the thermal infrared region. Microwave radiation is completely immune to haze and can even penetrate clouds.

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Mie Scattering
Scattering

light Water droplets and aerosols Scatters all wavelengths equally - white light Makes clouds appear white Aerosols near surface often make skies appear hazy white, especially near horizon

by objects larger than wavelengths of visible

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These are caused by aerosols: a mixture of gases, water vapor and dust. It is generally restricted to the lower atmosphere where the larger particles are abundant and dominates under overcast cloud conditions. It influences the entire spectral region from ultra violet to near infrared regions.

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Non-selective Scattering
This

type of scattering occurs when the particle size is much larger than the wavelength of the incoming radiation. Particles responsible for this effect are water droplets and larger dust particles. The most common example of non-selective scattering is the appearance of clouds as white

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Diffuse radiation
Some

light reaches surface after being scattered Appears to originate from location of last scattering event Illuminates sky outside of direct solar beam No atmosphere on moon, so sky is black except for direct ligh

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Amounts

of direct and diffuse light reaching surface vary depending on atmospheric conditions Clear, dry atmosphere - large amount of direct, little diffuse High contrast between dark shadows and brightly illuminated surfaces Sky appears deep blue Cloud cover - no direct, all diffuse Light coming from all directions of the sky, so only shadows directly underneath things

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Refraction
The

phenomenon of refraction, that is bending of light at the contact between two media, also occurs in the atmosphere as the light passes through the atmospheric layers of varied clarity, humidity and temperature. These variations influence the density of atmospheric layers, which in turn, causes the bending of light rays as they pass from one layer to another. Example - Mirage.

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CONCLUSIONS
Interaction

between EM radiations and atmosphere affects the Earth's Satellite image in many ways, as it makes scene dull by reducing the light and reduces the image contrast but also changes the spectral signature of ground objects as seen by the sensor.

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