# Introduction and Basic Concepts 1 I BASIC CONCEPTS

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Introduction and Basic Concepts 1 (I) BASIC CONCEPTS OF REMOTE SENSING Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Objectives 2 Introduction to remote sensing Basic concepts Ø Electromagnetic energy Ø Remote sensing platforms Ø Types of remote sensing Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Remote Sensing 3 The art and science of obtaining information about an object or feature without physically coming in contact with that object or feature Remote sensing can be used to measure – Variations in acoustic wave distributions – Variations in force distributions (e. g. , gravity meter) – Variations in electromagnetic energy distributions Remotely collected data through various sensors may be analyzed to obtain information about the http: //geoportal. icimod. org objects or features under investigation Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Remote Sensing of Electromagnetic Energy 4 Variation in electromagnetic energy can be measured using photographic or non- photographic sensors Remote sensing of Electromagnetic energy is used for earth observation “Remote sensing is detecting and measuring electromagnetic energy emanating or reflected from distant objects made of various materials, so that we can identify and categorize these objects by class or type, substance and spatial distribution” [American Society of Photogrammetry, 1975] Surface parameters are inferred through the measurement and interpretation of the electromagnetic energy / radiation from the Earth’s surface Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Electromagnetic Energy 5 Electromagnetic energy or electromagnetic radiation (EMR) § Energy propagated in the form of an advancing interaction between electric and magnetic fields (Sabbins, 1978) § Travels with the velocity of light § Visible light, ultraviolet rays, infrared, heat, radio waves and x-rays are different forms Expressed either in terms of frequency (f) or wave length (λ) of radiation E = h. c. f or h. c / λ h = Planck's constant (6. 626 x 10 -34 Joules-sec) c = Speed of light (3 x 108 m/sec) f = Frequency expressed in Hertz λ = wavelength in micro meters (µm) Shorter wavelengths have higher energy content and longer wavelengths have lower energy content Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Electromagnetic Energy… 6 EMR spectrum : Distribution of the continuum of energy plotted as a function of wavelength (or frequency) In remote sensing terminology, electromagnetic energy is generally expressed in terms of wavelength, λ. Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Principles of Remote Sensing 7 Different objects reflect or emit different amount of energy in different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum differently Ø Depends on the properties of – The target material – The incident energy (angle of incidence, intensity and wavelength) Ø Uniqueness of the reflected or emitted electromagnetic radiation is used to detect and discriminate the objects or surface features Sensor & Platform in remote sensing Ø Sensor: A device used to detect the reflected or emitted electromagnetic radiation – Cameras and scanners Ø Platform: A vehicle used to carry the sensor – Aircrafts and satellites Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Stages in Remote Sensing 8 A. Emission of electromagnetic radiation • The Sun or an EMR source located on the platform B. Transmission of energy from the source to the object • Absorption and scattering of the EMR while transmission C. Interaction of EMR with the object and subsequent reflection and emission D. Transmission of energy from the object to the sensor E. Recording of the energy at the sensor • Photographic or non-photographic F. Transmission of the recorded information to ground station G. Processing of the data into digital or hard copy image H. Analysis of data Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Passive/ Active Remote Sensing 9 A simple analogy: Passive remote sensing is similar to taking a picture with an ordinary camera Active remote sensing is analogous to taking a picture with camera having built-in flash Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Passive Remote Sensing 10 Passive remote sensing: Source of energy is that naturally available – Solar energy – Energy emitted by the Earth etc. Most of the remote sensing systems work in passive mode using solar energy – Solar energy reflected by the targets at specific bands are recorded using sensors – For ample signal strength received at the sensor, wavelengths capable of traversing through the atmosphere without significant loss, are generally used The Earth will also emit some radiation since its ambient temperature is about 300 o K. – Passive sensors can also be used to measure the Earth’s radiance – Not very popular as the energy content is very low Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Active Remote Sensing 11 Active remote sensing: Energy is generated and emitted from a sensing platform towards the targets Energy reflected back by the targets are recorded Longer wavelength bands are used Example: Active microwave remote sensing (radar) – Pulses of microwave signals are sent towards the target from the radar antenna located on the air / space-borne platform – The energy reflected back (echoes) are recorded at the sensor Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Remote Sensing Platforms 12 Ground level remote sensing Very close to the ground (e. g. , Hand held camera) Used to develop and calibrate sensors for different features on the Earth’s surface Aerial remote sensing Low altitude aerial remote sensing High altitude aerial remote sensing Space-borne remote sensing Space shuttles Polar orbiting satellites Geo-stationary satellites Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 Modified from http: //www. ilmb. gov. bc. ca/risc/pubs/aq uatic/aerialvideo/assets/figure 1. gif D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Air-borne Remote sensing 13 Downward or sideward looking sensors mounted on aircrafts are used to obtain images Very high spatial resolution images (20 cm or less) can be obtained Drawbacks: – Less coverage area and high cost per unit area of ground coverage – Mainly intended for one-time operations, whereas space-borne missions offer continuous monitoring of the earth features Li. DAR, analog aerial photography, thermal imagery and digital photography are commonly used in airborne remote sensing Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Space-borne Remote sensing 14 Sensors are mounted on space shuttles or satellites orbiting the Earth – Geostationary and Polar orbiting satellites – Example: Landsat satellites, Indian remote sensing (IRS) satellites, IKONOS, SPOT satellites, AQUA and TERRA (NASA), and INSAT satellite series Advantages: – Large area coverage, less cost per unit area of coverage – Continuous or frequent coverage of an area of interest – Automatic/ semi-automatic computerized processing and analysis. Drawback: Lower resolution Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

An Ideal Remote Sensing System 15 i. iii. iv. Basic components of an ideal remote sensing system iv. A uniform energy source v. A non-interfering atmosphere A series of unique energy/matter interactions at the Earth's surface A super sensor Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 A real-time data handling system Multiple data users D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

An Ideal Remote Sensing System… 16 Basic components of an ideal remote sensing system i. A uniform energy source : Provides constant, high level of output over all wavelengths ii. A non-interfering atmosphere: Does not modify the energy transmitted through it iii. A series of unique energy/matter interactions at the Earth's surface: Generates reflected / emitted signals that are § Selective with respect to wavelength and § Unique to each object or earth surface feature type Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

An Ideal Remote Sensing System… 17 Basic components of an ideal remote sensing system… A super sensor : Simple, accurate, economical and highly sensitive to all wavelengths iv. v. Yields data on the absolute brightness (or radiance) from a scene as a function of wavelength. A real-time data handling system: Generates radiance-wavelength response and processes into an interpretable format in real time vi. Multiple data users : Possess knowledge in remote sensing techniques and in their respective disciplines. Use the collected information in their respective disciplines Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

A Real Remote Sensing System- Shortcomings 18 Energy Source Ideal system: Constant, high level of output over all wavelengths Real system: Ø Usually non-uniform over various wavelengths Ø Energy output vary with time and space Ø Affects the passive remote sensing systems Ø – The spectral distribution of reflected sunlight varies both temporally and spatially – Earth surface features also emit energy in varying degrees of efficiency A real remote sensing system needs calibration for source characteristics. Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

A Real Remote Sensing System… 19 The Atmosphere Ideal system: A non-interfering atmosphere Real system: Ø Atmosphere modifies the spectral distribution and strength of the energy transmitted through it Ø The effect of atmospheric interaction varies with the wavelength associated, sensor used and the sensing application Ø Calibration is required to eliminate or compensate these atmospheric effects https: //earth. esa. int/ Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

A Real Remote Sensing System… 20 The Energy/Matter Interactions at the Earth's Surface Ideal system: A series of unique energy/matter interactions Real system: Ø Spectral signatures may be similar for different material, making the differentiation difficult Ø Lack of complete understanding of the energy/matter interactions for surface features The Sensor Ideal system: A super sensor Real system: Ø Fixed limits of spectral sensitivity i. e. , they are not sensitive to all wavelengths. Ø Limited spatial resolution (efficiency in recording spatial details). Ø Sensor selection requires a trade-off between spatial resolution and spectral sensitivity. – For example, photographic systems have very good spatial resolution , but poor spectral sensitivity. Non-photographic systems have poor spatial resolution. Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

A Real Remote Sensing System… 21 The data handling system Ideal system: A real-time data handling system Real system: Ø Real time data handling almost impossible as human intervention is necessary for processing sensor data The multiple data users Ideal system: Users having knowledge in their domain and in remote sensing techniques Real system: Ø Success of a remote sensing mission lies on the user who transforms the data into information Ø User should have – – Thorough understanding of the problem Wide knowledge in the data generation Knowledge in data interpretation Knowledge to make best use of the data Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Advantages of Remote Sensing 22 Major advantages of remote sensing are Ø Provides data for large areas Ø Provide data of very remote and inaccessible regions Ø Able to obtain imagery of any area over a continuous period of time – Possible to monitor any anthropogenic or natural changes in the landscape Ø Relatively inexpensive when compared to employing a team of surveyors Ø Easy and rapid collection of data Ø Rapid production of maps for interpretation Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Limitations of Remote Sensing 23 Some of the drawbacks of remote sensing are Ø The interpretation of imagery requires a certain skill level Ø Needs cross verification with ground (field) survey data Ø Data from multiple sources may create confusion Ø Objects can be misclassified or confused Ø Distortions may occur in an image due to the relative motion of sensor and source Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc

Thank You Remote Sensing: M 1 L 1 24 D. Nagesh Kumar, IISc