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Introduction to the Physics and Techniques of Remote Sensing

The purpose of this text is to provide the basic scientific and engineering background for students and researchers interested in remote sensing and its applications. It addresses (1) the basic physics involved in wave–matter interactions, which is the fundamental element needed to fully interpret the data; (2) the techniques used to collect the data; and (3) the applications to which remote sensing is most successfully applied. This is done keeping in mind the broad educational background of interested readers. The text is self-comprehensive and requires the reader to have the equivalent of a junior level in physics, specifically introductory electromagnetic and quantum theory.

The text is divided into three major parts. After the introduction, Chapter 2 gives the basic properties of electromagnetic waves and their interaction with matter. Chapters 3 through 7 cover the use of remote sensing in solid (including ocean) surface studies. Each chapter covers one major part of the electromagnetic spectrum (visible/near infrared, thermal infrared, passive microwave, and active microwave, respectively). Chapters 8 through 12 cover the use of remote sensing in the study of atmospheres and ionospheres. In each chapter, the basic interaction mechanisms are covered first. This is followed by the techniques used to acquire, measure, and study the information (waves) emanating from the medium under investigation. In most cases, a specific advanced sensor flown or under development is used for illustration.

The text is generously illustrated and includes many examples of data acquired from spaceborne sensors. As a special feature, sixteen of the illustrations presented in the text are reproduced in a separate section of color plates.


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September 13, 2010


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