Introduction to Remote Sensing



This course provides a broad knowledge of the principles and techniques associated with the scientific instruments that
produce high resolution images of planetary surfaces. The instruments considered, chiefly space borne, operate in the visual,
IR to over 15 microns, microwave radiometer to over 200 gigahertz and synthetic aperture radar modes. The pertinent figures
of merit, such as responsivity, specific detectability, and minimum temperature differential and resolution will be derived and
compared. The state-of-the-art in detector technology and electronic devices, e.g., charge transfer and injection systems,
will be discussed, and system sensitivity and accuracy derived. In addition, topics in mission planning relating to ground
coverage and periodicity, and communication and data rate theory, will complete an overall survey which is unique in its broad,
encompassing nature.


Include extensive notes and reference materials.


The seminar will serve engineers who are working in one of the instrument fields covered and wish to learn about complementary
/supplementary systems, system engineers and management personnel who wish to obtain a sound basis on the capabilities of
diverse imaging systems.


How to perform a space or airborne remote sensing mission design and coverage analysis with appropriate data links. The basics
of preliminary design of electro-optical visual and IR instruments. The basics of microwave radiometer and synthetic aperture radar
devices at the block diagram level. Figures of merit and performance values associated with each of the systems discussed.
Operation of representative systems in each field.


  1. Mission and Sensor Types.

    Payload design considerations classification of systems and applications usable spectra how missions drive payload
    selections requirements for resolution, contrast and sensitivity history of outstanding missions.

  2. Mission Planning and Earth Coverage.

    Orbit type selection and revisit intervals ground swaths for sun-synchronous, geosynchronous and Molniya orbits orbit
    perturbations and eclipses data dumping.

  3. Signal Development and Characteristics.

    Blackbody/graybody radiation Plancks Law use of the radiation slide rule atmospheric and weather effects, scattering,
    sensor and band pass selection for ground imaging system limitations.

  4. Optics and Optical Systems.

    Image formation and image plane/object plane relationships and resolution considerations Modulation Transfer
    Functions (MTF) reflective, refractive and catadioptric designs Cassagrainian telescope design, aberrations.

  5. Visual/IR Instruments.

    Detectors figures of merit, time constants, D*, PV and PC modes of operation quantum efficiency, band pass
    responsivity visual and IR arrays, film and camera systems charge transfer: CCDs and CIDs, clocking, data rates attainable,
    new charge injection developments sensor system design: focal plane design cooling methods dwell times, scanning vs.
    staring systems performance results NE DELTA T, MTF generation of data rates.

  6. Data Acquisition and Transmissions.

    Communication Link theory of satellite communications digitizing analog signals Shannons and Carsons rules band pass-
    data rate relationship sizing the comm link digital signal to noise ratio bit error rate data compression modulation types
    phase and frequency shift keying TWTAs and antenna types for communications remote sensing antennas: types,
    patterns, and gain parabolic vs. phased array beam agility scanning systems, antenna figures and conical versus cross
    scan swath width relations and 3 dB down beam.

  7. Microwave Radiometry Imaging.

    Importance of microwave radiometry/history application of phased array and conical scan parabolic antennas and feeds
    detection of signal buried in noise Tmin Dicke vs. total power radiometers front end detection schemes and dwell times
    need for polarization and ground truth data calibration figures of merit scanning patterns and geometry.

  8. Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging.

    Along track and cross track resolution development pulse compression Doppler speed and angle measurements theory of
    synthetic aperture, radar equation and radar cross section selection of carrier frequency, phase and frequency shift
    relations data rates/processing spotlight mode radar altimetry and scatterometry LIDAR techniques/applications.


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