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Image Collection Simulation Using High-Resolution Atmospheric Modeling

1
NGA/Research, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Springfield, VA 22150, USA
2
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
3
NGA/A, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Springfield, VA 22150, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(19), 3214; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12193214
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 28 September 2020 / Accepted: 29 September 2020 / Published: 1 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers of Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
A new method is described for simulating the passive remote sensing image collection of ground targets that includes effects from atmospheric physics and dynamics at fine spatial and temporal scales. The innovation in this research is the process of combining a high-resolution weather model with image collection simulation to attempt to account for heterogeneous and high-resolution atmospheric effects on image products. The atmosphere was modeled on a 3D voxel grid by a Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) driven by forcing data constrained by local ground-based and air-based observations. The spatial scale of the atmospheric model (10–100 m) came closer than conventional weather forecast scales (10–100 km) to approaching the scale of typical commercial multispectral imagery (2 m). This approach was demonstrated through a ground truth experiment conducted at the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site. In this experiment, calibrated targets (colored spectral tarps) were placed on the ground, and the scene was imaged with WorldView-3 multispectral imagery at a resolution enabling the tarps to be visible in at least 9–12 image pixels. The image collection was simulated with Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) software, using the 3D atmosphere from the LES model to generate a high-resolution cloud mask. The high-resolution atmospheric model-predicted cloud coverage was usually within 23% of the measured cloud cover. The simulated image products were comparable to the WorldView-3 satellite imagery in terms of the variations of cloud distributions and spectral properties of the ground targets in clear-sky regions, suggesting the potential utility of the proposed modeling framework in improving simulation capabilities, as well as testing and improving the operation of image collection processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; image collection simulation; atmospheric modeling remote sensing; image collection simulation; atmospheric modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kalukin, A.; Endo, S.; Crook, R.; Mahajan, M.; Fennimore, R.; Cialella, A.; Gregory, L.; Yoo, S.; Xu, W.; Cisek, D. Image Collection Simulation Using High-Resolution Atmospheric Modeling. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 3214.

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