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Remote Sens., Volume 2, Issue 3 (March 2010), Pages 611-907

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Effects of Spatial and Spectral Resolutions on Fractal Dimensions in Forested Landscapes
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 611-640; doi:10.3390/rs2030611
Received: 28 December 2009 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 21 February 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (3002 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent work has shown that more research is needed in applying fractal analysis to multi-resolution remote sensing data for landscape characterization. The purpose of this study was to closely examine the impacts that spatial and spectral resolutions have on fractal dimensions using [...] Read more.
Recent work has shown that more research is needed in applying fractal analysis to multi-resolution remote sensing data for landscape characterization. The purpose of this study was to closely examine the impacts that spatial and spectral resolutions have on fractal dimensions using real-world multi-resolution remotely sensed data as opposed to the more conventional single resolution and aggregation approach. The study focused on fractal analysis of forested landscapes in the southeastern United States and Central America. Initially, the effects of spatial resolution on the computed fractal dimensions were examined using data from three instruments with different spatial resolutions. Based on the criteria of mean value and variation within the accepted ranges of fractal dimensions, it was determined that 30-m Landsat TM data were best able to capture the complexity of a forested landscape in Central America compared to 4-m IKONOS data and 250-m MODIS data. Also, among the spectral bands of Landsat TM images of four national forests in the southeastern United States, tests showed that the spatial indices of fractal dimensions are much more distinguishable in the visible bands than they are in the near-mid infrared bands. Thus, based solely on the fractal analysis, the fractal dimensions could have relatively higher chances to distinguish forest characteristics (e.g., stand sizes and species) in the Landsat TM visible wavelength bands than in the near-mid infrared bands. This study has focused on a relative comparison between visible and near-mid infrared wavelength bands; however it will be important to study in the future the effect of a combination of those bands such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) on fractal dimensions of forested landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Status and Change by Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Detection of Vertical Pole-Like Objects in a Road Environment Using Vehicle-Based Laser Scanning Data
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 641-664; doi:10.3390/rs2030641
Received: 9 December 2009 / Revised: 9 January 2010 / Accepted: 8 February 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
Cited by 70 | PDF Full-text (650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate road environment information is needed in applications such as road maintenance and virtual 3D city modelling. Vehicle-based laser scanning (VLS) can produce dense point clouds from large areas efficiently from which the road and its environment can be modelled in detail. [...] Read more.
Accurate road environment information is needed in applications such as road maintenance and virtual 3D city modelling. Vehicle-based laser scanning (VLS) can produce dense point clouds from large areas efficiently from which the road and its environment can be modelled in detail. Pole-like objects such as traffic signs, lamp posts and tree trunks are an important part of road environments. An automatic method was developed for the extraction of pole-like objects from VLS data. The method was able to find 77.7% of the poles which were found by a manual investigation of the data. Correctness of the detection was 81.0%. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Impact of Spatial Resolution on Wind Field Derived Estimates of Air Pressure Depression in the Hurricane Eye
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 665-672; doi:10.3390/rs2030665
Received: 8 December 2009 / Revised: 8 February 2010 / Accepted: 25 February 2010 / Published: 1 March 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Measurements of the near surface horizontal wind field in a hurricane with spatial resolution of order 1–10 km are possible using airborne microwave radiometer imagers. An assessment is made of the information content of the measured winds as a function of the [...] Read more.
Measurements of the near surface horizontal wind field in a hurricane with spatial resolution of order 1–10 km are possible using airborne microwave radiometer imagers. An assessment is made of the information content of the measured winds as a function of the spatial resolution of the imager. An existing algorithm is used which estimates the maximum surface air pressure depression in the hurricane eye from the maximum wind speed. High resolution numerical model wind fields from Hurricane Frances 2004 are convolved with various HIRAD antenna spatial filters to observe the impact of the antenna design on the central pressure depression in the eye that can be deduced from it. Full article
Open AccessArticle Application of Vegetation Indices for Agricultural Crop Yield Prediction Using Neural Network Techniques
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 673-696; doi:10.3390/rs2030673
Received: 31 December 2009 / Revised: 29 January 2010 / Accepted: 13 February 2010 / Published: 1 March 2010
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (1586 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spatial variability in a crop field creates a need for precision agriculture. Economical and rapid means of identifying spatial variability is obtained through the use of geotechnology (remotely sensed images of the crop field, image processing, GIS modeling approach, and GPS usage) [...] Read more.
Spatial variability in a crop field creates a need for precision agriculture. Economical and rapid means of identifying spatial variability is obtained through the use of geotechnology (remotely sensed images of the crop field, image processing, GIS modeling approach, and GPS usage) and data mining techniques for model development. Higher-end image processing techniques are followed to establish more precision. The goal of this paper was to investigate the strength of key spectral vegetation indices for agricultural crop yield prediction using neural network techniques. Four widely used spectral indices were investigated in a study of irrigated corn crop yields in the Oakes Irrigation Test Area research site of North Dakota, USA. These indices were: (a) red and near-infrared (NIR) based normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), (b) green and NIR based green vegetation index (GVI), (c) red and NIR based soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), and (d) red and NIR based perpendicular vegetation index (PVI). These four indices were investigated for corn yield during 3 years (1998, 1999, and 2001) and for the pooled data of these 3 years. Initially, Back-propagation Neural Network (BPNN) models were developed, including 16 models (4 indices * 4 years including the data from the pooled years) to test for the efficiency determination of those four vegetation indices in corn crop yield prediction. The corn yield was best predicted using BPNN models that used the means and standard deviations of PVI grid images. In all three years, it provided higher prediction accuracies, coefficient of determination (r2), and lower standard error of prediction than the models involving GVI, NDVI, and SAVI image information. The GVI, NDVI, and SAVI models for all three years provided average testing prediction accuracies of 24.26% to 94.85%, 19.36% to 95.04%, and 19.24% to 95.04%, respectively while the PVI models for all three years provided average testing prediction accuracies of 83.50% to 96.04%. The PVI pool model provided better average testing prediction accuracy of 94% with respect to other vegetation models, for which it ranged from 89–93%. Similarly, the PVI pool model provided coefficient of determination (r2) value of 0.45 as compared to 0.31–0.37 for other index models. Log10 data transformation technique was used to enhance the prediction ability of the PVI models of years 1998, 1999, and 2001 as it was chosen as the preferred index. Another model (Transformed PVI (Pool)) was developed using the log10 transformed PVI image information to show its global application. The transformed PVI models provided average corn yield prediction accuracies of 90%, 97%, and 98% for years 1998, 1999, and 2001, respectively. The pool PVI transformed model provided as average testing accuracy of 93% along with r2 value of 0.72 and standard error of prediction of 0.05 t/ha. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Croplands)
Open AccessArticle Land-Cover Phenologies and Their Relation to Climatic Variables in an Anthropogenically Impacted Mediterranean Coastal Area
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 697-716; doi:10.3390/rs2030697
Received: 31 December 2009 / Revised: 11 February 2010 / Accepted: 21 February 2010 / Published: 2 March 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mediterranean coastal areas are experiencing rapid land cover change caused by human-induced land degradation and extreme climatic events. Vegetation index time series provide a useful way to monitor vegetation phenological variations. This study quantitatively describes Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) temporal changes for [...] Read more.
Mediterranean coastal areas are experiencing rapid land cover change caused by human-induced land degradation and extreme climatic events. Vegetation index time series provide a useful way to monitor vegetation phenological variations. This study quantitatively describes Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) temporal changes for Mediterranean land-covers from the perspective of vegetation phenology and its relation with climate. A time series from 2001 to 2007 of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index 16-day composite (MOD13Q1) was analyzed to extract anomalies (by calculating z-scores) and frequency domain components (by the Fourier Transform). Vegetation phenology analyses were developed for diverse land-covers for an area in south Alicante (Spain) providing a useful way to analyze and understand the phenology associated to those land-covers. Time series of climatic variables were also analyzed through anomaly detection techniques and the Fourier Transform. Correlations between EVI time series and climatic variables were computed. Temperature, rainfall and radiation were significantly correlated with almost all land-cover classes for the harmonic analysis amplitude term. However, vegetation phenology was not correlated with climatic variables for the harmonic analysis phase term suggesting a delay between climatic variations and vegetation response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Status and Change by Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle An Analysis of the Spatial Colonization of Scrubland Intrusive Species in the Itabo and Guanabo Watershed, Cuba
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 740-757; doi:10.3390/rs2030740
Received: 26 January 2010 / Revised: 3 February 2010 / Accepted: 10 February 2010 / Published: 9 March 2010
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Abstract
During the last twenty years, numerous agricultural and farming areas of Cuba have seen a marked increase in invading plants; among the most common species found is the Marabú (Dychrostachys cinerea) and the Aroma (Acacia farnesiana). In the [...] Read more.
During the last twenty years, numerous agricultural and farming areas of Cuba have seen a marked increase in invading plants; among the most common species found is the Marabú (Dychrostachys cinerea) and the Aroma (Acacia farnesiana). In the present study, an analysis was carried out of the expansion of these species over the last two decades, in the river basin of the Guanabo (17 km north-east of Havana). This was done by digital processing of satellite images and an analysis of the spatial and statistical data of the Geographical Information System (GIS). The zones most affected by this scrubland were mapped and a study of how natural factors may have influenced land use and the tendency of these species to increase was carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomorphological Processes and Natural Hazards)
Open AccessArticle Decadal Variations in NDVI and Food Production in India
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 758-776; doi:10.3390/rs2030758
Received: 22 December 2009 / Revised: 4 March 2010 / Accepted: 5 March 2010 / Published: 11 March 2010
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study we use long-term satellite, climate, and crop observations to document the spatial distribution of the recent stagnation in food grain production affecting the water-limited tropics (WLT), a region where 1.5 billion people live and depend on local agriculture that is constrained by chronic water shortages. Overall, our analysis shows that the recent stagnation in food production is corroborated by satellite data. The growth rate in annually integrated vegetation greenness, a measure of crop growth, has declined significantly (p < 0.10) in 23% of the WLT cropland area during the last decade, while statistically significant increases in the growth rates account for less than 2%. In most countries, the decade-long declines appear to be primarily due to unsustainable crop management practices rather than climate alone. One quarter of the statistically significant declines are observed in India, which with the world’s largest population of food-insecure people and largest WLT croplands, is a leading example of the observed declines. Here we show geographically matching patterns of enhanced crop production and irrigation expansion with groundwater that have leveled off in the past decade. We estimate that, in the absence of irrigation, the enhancement in dry-season food grain production in India, during 1982–2002, would have required an increase in annual rainfall of at least 30% over almost half of the cropland area. This suggests that the past expansion of use of irrigation has not been sustainable. We expect that improved surface and groundwater management practices will be required to reverse the recent food grain production declines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Croplands)
Open AccessArticle Snow Cover Monitoring Using MODIS Data in Liaoning Province, Northeastern China
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 777-793; doi:10.3390/rs2030777
Received: 25 January 2010 / Revised: 2 March 2010 / Accepted: 2 March 2010 / Published: 17 March 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the results of snow cover monitoring studies in Liaoning Province, northeastern China, using MODIS data. Snow cover plays an important role in both the regional water balance and soil moisture properties during the early spring in northeastern China. In [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of snow cover monitoring studies in Liaoning Province, northeastern China, using MODIS data. Snow cover plays an important role in both the regional water balance and soil moisture properties during the early spring in northeastern China. In addition, heavy snowfalls commonly trigger hazards such as flooding, caused by rapid snow melt, or crop failure, resulting from fluctuations in soil temperature associated with changes in the snow cover. The latter is a function of both regional, or global, climatic changes, as well as fluctuations in the albedo resulting from variations in the Snow Covered Area (SCA). These impacts are crucial to human activities, especially to those living in middle-latitude areas such as Liaoning Province. Thus, SCA monitoring is currently an important tool in studies of global climate change, particularly because satellite remote sensing data provide timely and efficient snow cover information for large areas. In this study, MODIS L1B data, MODIS Daily Snow Products (MOD10A1) and MODIS 8-day Snow Products (MOD10A2) were used to monitor the SCA of Liaoning Province over the winter months of November–April, 2006–2008. The effects of cloud masking and forest masking on the snow monitoring results were also assessed. The results show that the SCA percentage derived from MODIS L1B data is relatively consistent, but slightly higher than that obtained from MODIS Snow Products. In situ data from 25 snow stations were used to assess the accuracy of snow cover monitoring from the SCA compared to the results from MODIS Snow Products. The studies found that the SCA results were more reliable than MODIS Snow Products in the study area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Introduction and Assessment of Measures for Quantitative Model-Data Comparison Using Satellite Images
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 794-818; doi:10.3390/rs2030794
Received: 13 January 2010 / Revised: 5 February 2010 / Accepted: 5 March 2010 / Published: 19 March 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (709 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Satellite observations of the oceans have great potential to improve the quality and predictive power of numerical ocean models and are frequently used in model skill assessment as well as data assimilation. In this study we introduce and compare various measures for [...] Read more.
Satellite observations of the oceans have great potential to improve the quality and predictive power of numerical ocean models and are frequently used in model skill assessment as well as data assimilation. In this study we introduce and compare various measures for the quantitative comparison of satellite images and model output that have not been used in this context before. We devised a series of test to compare their performance, including their sensitivity to noise and missing values, which are ubiquitous in satellite images. Our results show that two of our adapted measures, the Adapted Gray Block distance and the entropic distance D2, perform better than the commonly used root mean square error and image correlation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Acquisition of Bidirectional Reflectance Factor Dataset Using a Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and a Consumer Camera
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 819-832; doi:10.3390/rs2030819
Received: 20 January 2010 / Revised: 23 February 2010 / Accepted: 24 February 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (669 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes a method for retrieving the bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF) of land-surface areas, using a small consumer camera on board an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and introducing an advanced calibration routine. Images with varying view directions were taken of snow [...] Read more.
This paper describes a method for retrieving the bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF) of land-surface areas, using a small consumer camera on board an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and introducing an advanced calibration routine. Images with varying view directions were taken of snow cover using the UAV. The vignetting effect was corrected from the images, and reflectance factor images were calculated using a calibrated white target as a reference. After spatial registration of the images using a corresponding point method, the target surface was divided into a grid, and a BRF was generated for each grid element. Lastly a model was fitted to the BRF dataset for data interpretation. The retrieved BRF were compared to parallel ground measurements. Comparison showed similar BRF and reflectance factor characteristics, which suggests that accurate measurements can be taken with cheap consumer cameras, if enough attention is paid to calibration of the images. Full article
Open AccessArticle Digital Northern Great Plains: A Web-Based System Delivering Near Real Time Remote Sensing Data for Precision Agriculture
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 861-873; doi:10.3390/rs2030861
Received: 27 January 2010 / Revised: 8 March 2010 / Accepted: 9 March 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1012 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The US Northern Great Plains is one of the world’s most agriculturally productive areas. Growers in the region are eager to adopt modern technology to improve productivity and income. Use of information derived from remote sensing satellites to better manage farms and [...] Read more.
The US Northern Great Plains is one of the world’s most agriculturally productive areas. Growers in the region are eager to adopt modern technology to improve productivity and income. Use of information derived from remote sensing satellites to better manage farms and rangelands while reducing environmental impacts has gained popularity in recent years. However, prohibitive costs and non-availability of near real time remote sensing imagery has slowed the adoption of this technology for in-field decision making. Digital Northern Great Plains (DNGP), a web based remote sensing data dissemination system, was developed to address these drawbacks. It provides end users easy and free access to a variety of imagery and products in near real time. With delivery of archived and current data, DNGP has helped farmers and ranchers reduce operational costs and increase productivity through a variety of innovative applications. Moreover, negative environmental impacts were lessened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Croplands)
Open AccessArticle Alternative Methodologies for LiDAR System Calibration
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 874-907; doi:10.3390/rs2030874
Received: 26 January 2010 / Revised: 8 March 2010 / Accepted: 16 March 2010 / Published: 23 March 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1032 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the last few years, LiDAR has become a popular technology for the direct acquisition of topographic information. In spite of the increasing utilization of this technology in several applications, its accuracy potential has not been fully explored. Most of current LiDAR [...] Read more.
Over the last few years, LiDAR has become a popular technology for the direct acquisition of topographic information. In spite of the increasing utilization of this technology in several applications, its accuracy potential has not been fully explored. Most of current LiDAR calibration techniques are based on empirical and proprietary procedures that demand the system’s raw measurements, which may not be always available to the end-user. As a result, we can still observe systematic discrepancies between conjugate surface elements in overlapping LiDAR strips. In this paper, two alternative calibration procedures that overcome the existing limitations are introduced. The first procedure, denoted as “Simplified method”, makes use of the LiDAR point cloud from parallel LiDAR strips acquired by a steady platform (e.g., fixed wing aircraft) over an area with moderately varying elevation. The second procedure, denoted as “Quasi-rigorous method”, can deal with non-parallel strips, but requires time-tagged LiDAR point cloud and navigation data (trajectory position only) acquired by a steady platform. With the widespread adoption of LAS format and easy access to trajectory information, this data requirement is not a problem. The proposed methods can be applied in any type of terrain coverage without the need for control surfaces and are relatively easy to implement. Therefore, they can be used in every flight mission if needed. Besides, the proposed procedures require minimal interaction from the user, which can be completely eliminated after minor extension of the suggested procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Near-Space Microwave Radar Remote Sensing: Potentials and Challenge Analysis
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 717-739; doi:10.3390/rs2030717
Received: 16 November 2009 / Revised: 11 January 2010 / Accepted: 26 January 2010 / Published: 9 March 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (465 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Near-space, defined as the region between 20 km and 100 km, offers many new capabilities that are not accessible to low earth orbit (LEO) satellites and airplanes, because it is above storm and not constrained by either the orbital mechanics of satellites [...] Read more.
Near-space, defined as the region between 20 km and 100 km, offers many new capabilities that are not accessible to low earth orbit (LEO) satellites and airplanes, because it is above storm and not constrained by either the orbital mechanics of satellites or the high fuel consumption of airplanes. By placing radar transmitter/receiver in near-space platforms, many functions that are currently performed with satellites or airplanes could be performed in a cheaper way. Inspired by these advantages, this paper introduces several near-space vehicle-based radar configurations, such as near-space passive bistatic radar and high-resolution wide-swath (HRWS) synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Their potential applications, technical challenges and possible solutions are investigated. It is shown that near-space is a satisfactory solution to some specific remote sensing applications. Firstly, near-space passive bistatic radar using opportunistic illuminators offers a solution to persistent regional remote sensing, which is particularly interest for protecting homeland security or monitoring regional environment. Secondly, near-space provides an optimal solution to relative HRWS SAR imaging. Moreover, as motion compensation is a common technical challenge for the described radars, an active transponder-based motion compensation is also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microwave Remote Sensing)
Open AccessReview Ground Filtering Algorithms for Airborne LiDAR Data: A Review of Critical Issues
Remote Sens. 2010, 2(3), 833-860; doi:10.3390/rs2030833
Received: 4 January 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 27 February 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
Cited by 119 | PDF Full-text (768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews LiDAR ground filtering algorithms used in the process of creating Digital Elevation Models. We discuss critical issues for the development and application of LiDAR ground filtering algorithms, including filtering procedures for different feature types, and criteria for study site [...] Read more.
This paper reviews LiDAR ground filtering algorithms used in the process of creating Digital Elevation Models. We discuss critical issues for the development and application of LiDAR ground filtering algorithms, including filtering procedures for different feature types, and criteria for study site selection, accuracy assessment, and algorithm classification. This review highlights three feature types for which current ground filtering algorithms are suboptimal, and which can be improved upon in future studies: surfaces with rough terrain or discontinuous slope, dense forest areas that laser beams cannot penetrate, and regions with low vegetation that is often ignored by ground filters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR)

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