Remote Sensing - a tool for environmental observation

Studies ceres for cloud and radiant energy monitoring

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studies, CERES for cloud and radiant energy monitoring, MISR a multiple view-angle instruments to ‘look’ e.g. into vegetation canopies, MODIS for monitoring large-scale changes in the biosphere and MOPITT to observe the lower atmosphere. Two instruments, ASTER and MODIS, are of particular interest for geographical research and are presented below in more detail.
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31 A A STER aboard TERRA STER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) instrument ltispectral images since its launch in December 1999. ASTER is e op es delivers high resolution, mu part of the TERRA platform and collects data in 14 bands across the spectral region from th visible to the thermal infrared. The spatial resolution varies with wavelength: the Visible and Near-infrared (VNIR) has three bands with a spatial resolution of 15 m, the Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) has 6 bands with a spatial resolution of 30 m, and the Thermal Infrared (TIR) has 5 bands with a spatial resolution of 90 m. A second near infrared band is pointed backwards providing stereo capabilities for DEM generation (ASTER, 2003). Characteristic VNIR SWIR TIR S ASTER system pr erti pectral Range 1: 0.52 - 0.60 μm g 4: 1.600 - 1.700 μm 10: 8.125 - 8.475 μm Nadir lookin 2: 0.63 - 0.69 μm Nadir looking 5: 2.145 - 2.185 μm 11: 8.475 - 8.825 μm 3N: 0.76 - 0.86 μm Nadir looking 6: 2.185 - 2.225 μm 12: 8.925 - 9.275 μm 3B: 0.76 - 0.86 μm Backward looking 7: 2.235 - 2.285 μm 13: 10.25 - 10.95 μm 8: 2.295 - 2.365 μm 14: 10.95 - 11.65 μm 9: 2.360 - 2.430 μm Ground Resolution 15 m 30m 90m D (M ata Rate 2 .2 bits/sec) 6 23 4 Cross-track (deg.) Pointing 5 5 ±24 ±8.5 ±8.5 Cross-track Pointing (km) ±318 ±116 ±116 Swath Width (km) 60 60 60 Detector Type Si PtSi-Si e HgCdT Quantization (bits) 8 8 12
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32 MODIS aboard TERRA and AQUA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands in resolutions ranging from 250m to 1000m (MODIS, 2003). MODIS is designed for monitoring large-scale changes in the biosphere that will yield new insights into the workings of the global carbon cycle. MODIS can measure the photosynthetic activity of land and marine plants (phytoplankton) to yield better estimates of how much of the greenhouse gas is being absorbed and used in plant productivity. Coupled with the sensor's surface temperature measurements, MODIS' measurements of the biosphere are helping scientists track the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide in response to climate changes (MODIS, 2003). IKONOS The first real commercial satellite is IKONOS. IKONOS is developed, built and maintained by the company Space Imaging. The first IKONOS satellite is launched on 27 April 1999 but failed. The second launch of an exact copy of the first Ikonos satellite took place on 24 September 1999. The sensor aboard Ikonos has a panchromatic band with a spatial resolution of 1 by 1 meter. Next it has a sensor with four multi-spectral bands: blue, green, red, and infrared of 4 by 4 meters. Various other, high spatial resolution sensors will follow Ikonos in the next few years. Examples are the EarlyBird and EarthWatch satellites by the EarthWatch
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