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Open AccessArticle

The Dimming of Lights in India during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Earth Observation Group, Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
2
Russian Space Research Institute, 117997 Moscow, Russia
3
Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(20), 3289; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203289
Received: 4 September 2020 / Revised: 29 September 2020 / Accepted: 8 October 2020 / Published: 10 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Nighttime Observations)
The monthly Suomi National Polar-orbiting (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day–Night Band (DNB) composite reveals the dimming of lights as an effect of the lockdown enforced by the government of India in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes in lighting are examined by creating difference maps of a pre-pandemic pair and comparing it with two pandemic pairs. The visual raster difference maps are substantiated with quantitative analysis showing the proportion of population affected by the changes in the lighting brightness levels. In the pre-pandemic images of February and March 2019, 60% of the population lived in administrative units that became brighter in March 2019. However, in the first pandemic pair, 87% of the population lived in administrative units that became dimmer in March 2020 after the lockdown in comparison to February 2020. The nightly DNB profile at the airport in Delhi illustrate how the dimming of lights coincide with the date of the onset of the lockdown (in March 2020). The study shows the usefulness of the DNB nightly and monthly composites in examining economic impacts of the pandemic as countries throughout the world go through economic declines and move towards recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing of nighttime lights; VIIRS day–night band; COVID-19 pandemic; economic effects remote sensing of nighttime lights; VIIRS day–night band; COVID-19 pandemic; economic effects
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ghosh, T.; Elvidge, C.D.; Hsu, F.-C.; Zhizhin, M.; Bazilian, M. The Dimming of Lights in India during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 3289.

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