Remote Sens.2014, 6(12), 12776-12788; doi:10.3390/rs61212776 (registering DOI) - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The radiometric performance of remotely-sensed images is important for the applications of such data in monitoring land surface, ocean and atmospheric status. One requirement placed on the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) onboard Landsat 8 was that the noise-equivalent change in temperature (NEΔT) should be ≤0.4 K at 300 K for its two thermal infrared bands. In order to optimize the use of TIRS data, this study investigated the on-orbit NEΔT of the TIRS two bands from a scene-based method using clear-sky images over uniform ground surfaces, including lake, deep ocean, snow, desert and Gobi, as well as dense vegetation. Results showed that the NEΔTs of the two bands were 0.051 and 0.06 K at 300 K, which exceeded the design specification by an order of magnitude. The effect of NEΔT on the land surface temperature (LST) retrieval using a split window algorithm was discussed, and the estimated NEΔT could contribute only 3.5% to the final LST error in theory, whereas the required NEΔT could contribute up to 26.4%. Low NEΔT could improve the application of TIRS images. However, efforts are needed in the future to remove the effects of unwanted stray light that appears in the current TIRS images.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(12), 12752-12775; doi:10.3390/rs61212752 (registering DOI) - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Central Asia consists of the five former Soviet States Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, therefore comprising an area of ~4 Mio km2. The continental climate is characterized by hot and dry summer months and cold winter seasons with most precipitation occurring as snowfall. Accordingly, freshwater supply is strongly depending on the amount of accumulated snow as well as the moment of its release after snowmelt. The aim of the presented study is to identify possible changes in snow cover characteristics, consisting of snow cover duration, onset and offset of snow cover season within the last 28 years. Relying on remotely sensed data originating from medium resolution imagers, these snow cover characteristics are extracted on a daily basis. The resolution of 500–1000 m allows for a subsequent analysis of changes on the scale of hydrological sub-catchments. Long-term changes are identified from this unique dataset, revealing an ongoing shift towards earlier snowmelt within the Central Asian Mountains. This shift can be observed in most upstream hydro catchments within Pamir and Tian Shan Mountains and it leads to a potential change of freshwater availability in the downstream regions, exerting additional pressure on the already tensed situation.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(12), 12723-12751; doi:10.3390/rs61212723 - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper explores the existing literature on the active detection of crimes using remote sensing technologies. The paper reviews sixty-one studies that use remote sensing to actively detect crime. Considering the serious consequences of misidentifying crimes or sites of crimes (e.g., opening that place and its residents up to potentially needless intrusion, intimidation, surveillance or violence), the authors were surprised to find a lack of rigorous validation of the remote sensing methods utilized in these studies. In some cases, validation was not mentioned, while in others, validation was severely hampered by security issues, rough terrain and weather conditions. The paper also considers the potential hazards of the use of Google Earth to identify crimes and criminals. The paper concludes by considering alternate, “second order” validation techniques that could add vital context and understanding to remotely sensed images in a law enforcement context. With this discussion, the authors seek to initiate a discussion on other potential “second order” validation techniques, as well as on the exponential growth of surveillance in our everyday lives.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(12), 12708-12722; doi:10.3390/rs61212708 - published 17 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nighttime satellite imagery from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Programs’ Operational Linescan System (DMSP OLS) is being used for myriad applications including population mapping, characterizing economic activity, disaggregate estimation of CO2 emissions, wildfire monitoring, and more. Here we present a method for in situ radiance calibration of the DMSP OLS using a ground based light source as an active target. We found that the wattage of light used by our active target strongly correlates with the signal measured by the DMSP OLS. This approach can be used to enhance our ability to make intertemporal and intersatellite comparisons of DMSP OLS imagery. We recommend exploring the possibility of establishing a permanent active target for the calibration of nocturnal imaging systems.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(12), 12686-12707; doi:10.3390/rs61212686 - published 17 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is an active sensor that can effectively acquire a large number of three-dimensional (3-D) points. LiDAR systems can be equipped on different platforms for different applications, but to integrate the data, point cloud registration is needed to improve geometric consistency. The registration of airborne and terrestrial mobile LiDAR is a challenging task because the point densities and scanning directions differ. We proposed a scheme for the registration of airborne and terrestrial mobile LiDAR using the least squares 3-D surface registration technique to minimize the surfaces between two datasets. To analyze the effect of point density in registration, the simulation data simulated different conditions and estimated the theoretical errors. The test data were the point clouds of the airborne LiDAR system (ALS) and the mobile LiDAR system (MLS), which were acquired by Optech ALTM 3070 and Lynx, respectively. The resulting simulation analysis indicated that the accuracy of registration improved as the density increased. For the test dataset, the registration error of mobile LiDAR between different trajectories improved from 40 cm to 4 cm, and the registration error between ALS and MLS improved from 84 cm to 4 cm. These results indicate that the proposed methods can obtain 5 cm accuracy between ALS and MLS.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(12), 12667-12685; doi:10.3390/rs61212667 - published 16 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Land surface temperature (LST) retrieval is a key issue in infrared quantitative remote sensing. In this paper, a split window algorithm is proposed to estimate LST with daytime data in two mid-infrared channels (channel 66 (3.746~4.084 μm) and channel 68 (4.418~4.785 μm)) from Airborne Hyperspectral Scanner (AHS). The estimation is conducted after eliminating reflected direct solar radiance with the aid of water vapor content (WVC), the view zenith angle (VZA), and the solar zenith angle (SZA). The results demonstrate that the LST can be well estimated with a root mean square error (RMSE) less than 1.0 K. Furthermore, an error analysis for the proposed method is also performed in terms of the uncertainty of LSE and WVC, as well as the Noise Equivalent Difference Temperature (NEΔT). The results show that the LST errors caused by a LSE uncertainty of 0.01, a NEΔT of 0.33 K, and a WVC uncertainty of 10% are 0.4~2.8 K, 0.6 K, and 0.2 K, respectively. Finally, the proposed method is applied to the AHS data of 4 July 2008. The results show that the differences between the estimated and the ground measured LST for water, bare soil and vegetation areas are approximately 0.7 K, 0.9 K and 2.3K, respectively.