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Article

The Urban Observatory: A Multi-Modal Imaging Platform for the Study of Dynamics in Complex Urban Systems

1
Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
2
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
3
Data Science Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19713, USA
4
Center for Urban Science and Progress, New York University, New York, NY 11201, USA
5
Civil and Urban Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University; New York, NY 11201, USA
6
Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Soe Myint and Yuji Murayama
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(8), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081426
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 14 March 2021 / Accepted: 25 March 2021 / Published: 7 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Remote Sensing)
We describe an “Urban Observatory” facility designed for the study of complex urban systems via persistent, synoptic, and granular imaging of dynamical processes in cities. An initial deployment of the facility has been demonstrated in New York City and consists of a suite of imaging systems—both broadband and hyperspectral—sensitive to wavelengths from the visible (∼400 nm) to the infrared (∼13 micron) operating at cadences of ∼0.01–30 Hz (characteristically ∼0.1 Hz). Much like an astronomical survey, the facility generates a large imaging catalog from which we have extracted observables (e.g., time-dependent brightnesses, spectra, temperatures, chemical species, etc.), collecting them in a parallel source catalog. We have demonstrated that, in addition to the urban science of cities as systems, these data are applicable to a myriad of domain-specific scientific inquiries related to urban functioning including energy consumption and end use, environmental impacts of cities, and patterns of life and public health. We show that an Urban Observatory facility of this type has the potential to improve both a city’s operations and the quality of life of its inhabitants. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-wavelength imaging; imaging data acquisition systems; complex urban system dynamics; hyperspectral imaging; infrared imaging; multi-modal data fusion; urban science multi-wavelength imaging; imaging data acquisition systems; complex urban system dynamics; hyperspectral imaging; infrared imaging; multi-modal data fusion; urban science
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dobler, G.; Bianco, F.B.; Sharma, M.S.; Karpf, A.; Baur, J.; Ghandehari, M.; Wurtele, J.; Koonin, S.E. The Urban Observatory: A Multi-Modal Imaging Platform for the Study of Dynamics in Complex Urban Systems. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1426. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081426

AMA Style

Dobler G, Bianco FB, Sharma MS, Karpf A, Baur J, Ghandehari M, Wurtele J, Koonin SE. The Urban Observatory: A Multi-Modal Imaging Platform for the Study of Dynamics in Complex Urban Systems. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(8):1426. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081426

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dobler, Gregory, Federica B. Bianco, Mohit S. Sharma, Andreas Karpf, Julien Baur, Masoud Ghandehari, Jonathan Wurtele, and Steven E. Koonin 2021. "The Urban Observatory: A Multi-Modal Imaging Platform for the Study of Dynamics in Complex Urban Systems" Remote Sensing 13, no. 8: 1426. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081426

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