Special Issue "Applications of Micro- and Nano-Satellites for Earth Observation"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Klemen Zakšek

Guest Editor
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, Jamova cesta 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: thermal remote sensing; photogrammetry; volcanology; urban heat island; CubeSats; big data; machine learning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Krištof Oštir
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, Jamova cesta 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: land use/land cover; image classification; change detection; agriculture; forestry; time series analysis
Prof. Dr. Matthew McCabe
grade Website
Guest Editor
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Division of Biological Sciences and Engineering, Water Desalination and Reuse Center, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
Interests: hydrology; precision agriculture; remote sensing; UAVs; CubeSats
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the 10 last years, we have seen a paradigm shift in the development of satellites for earth observation, with many small satellite systems (from 1 to 100 kg) being successfully launched by national space agencies to monitor a range of variables describing the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and atmosphere systems. These miniaturized satellites are offering new observation opportunities, not just for agency-based missions, but also for commercial and other private ventures, including the opportunity for investigator led missions. Advances in design and operation have been driven in large part by the miniaturization of sensors and components, improvements in communication and power-supplies, reduction of launch costs and the adoption of standardized form-factors as building blocks for new satellites. Challenging the more traditional single-mission focus of large and expensive satellite launches, this new approach has the capacity to dramatically change the earth observation landscape. Apart from the advantage of reduced launch costs, the small-satellite paradigm offers a new pathway for technology demonstration, new sensing concepts, and an opportunity to bridge orbital driven spatiotemporal constraints through using satellite constellations.

The focus of this special issue is to explore the potential of these new and emerging satellite platforms to advance the retrieval capabilities of earth observing sensors. Satellites offering a range of sensing capabilities and providing insight into the earth system are invited. Potential topics might include:

  • Earth observation applications with operational small-satellite missions
  • New processing and analysis methods developed for small-satellite products
  • Product simulations of missions that are due to launch
  • Advanced earth observation and insights gained from using constellations and formations of small satellites
  • Technology demonstrations of emerging small-satellite systems

Dr. Klemen Zakšek
Prof. Krištof Oštir
Prof. Matthew McCabe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Micro-satellites
  • Nano-Satellites
  • CubeSat
  • Remote sensing
  • Earth observation
  • Constellations / Formations

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
UVSQ-SAT, a Pathfinder CubeSat Mission for Observing Essential Climate Variables
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12010092 - 26 Dec 2019
Abstract
The UltraViolet and infrared Sensors at high Quantum efficiency onboard a small SATellite (UVSQ-SAT) mission aims to demonstrate pioneering technologies for broadband measurement of the Earth’s radiation budget (ERB) and solar spectral irradiance (SSI) in the Herzberg continuum (200–242 nm) using high quantum [...] Read more.
The UltraViolet and infrared Sensors at high Quantum efficiency onboard a small SATellite (UVSQ-SAT) mission aims to demonstrate pioneering technologies for broadband measurement of the Earth’s radiation budget (ERB) and solar spectral irradiance (SSI) in the Herzberg continuum (200–242 nm) using high quantum efficiency ultraviolet and infrared sensors. This research and innovation mission has been initiated by the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) with the support of the International Satellite Program in Research and Education (INSPIRE). The motivation of the UVSQ-SAT mission is to experiment miniaturized remote sensing sensors that could be used in the multi-point observation of Essential Climate Variables (ECV) by a small satellite constellation. UVSQ-SAT represents the first step in this ambitious satellite constellation project which is currently under development under the responsibility of the Laboratory Atmospheres, Environments, Space Observations (LATMOS), with the UVSQ-SAT CubeSat launch planned for 2020/2021. The UVSQ-SAT scientific payload consists of twelve miniaturized thermopile-based radiation sensors for monitoring incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation, four photodiodes that benefit from the intrinsic advantages of Ga 2 O 3 alloy-based sensors made by pulsed laser deposition for measuring solar UV spectral irradiance, and a new three-axis accelerometer/gyroscope/compass for satellite attitude estimation. We present here the scientific objectives of the UVSQ-SAT mission along the concepts and properties of the CubeSat platform and its payload. We also present the results of a numerical simulation study on the spatial reconstruction of the Earth’s radiation budget, on a geographical grid of 1 ° × 1 ° degree latitude-longitude, that could be achieved with UVSQ-SAT for different observation periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Micro- and Nano-Satellites for Earth Observation)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
On-Board Ship Detection in Micro-Nano Satellite Based on Deep Learning and COTS Component
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11070762 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Micro-nano satellites have provided a large amount of remote sensing images for many earth observation applications. However, the hysteresis of satellite-ground mutual communication of massive remote sensing images and the low efficiency of traditional information processing flow have become the bottlenecks for the [...] Read more.
Micro-nano satellites have provided a large amount of remote sensing images for many earth observation applications. However, the hysteresis of satellite-ground mutual communication of massive remote sensing images and the low efficiency of traditional information processing flow have become the bottlenecks for the further development of micro-nano satellites. To solve this problem, this paper proposes an on-board ship detection scheme based on deep learning and Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) component, which can be used to achieve near real-time on-board processing by micro-nano satellite computing platform. The on-board ship detection algorithm based on deep learning consists of a feature extraction network, Region Proposal Network (RPN) with square anchors, Global Average Pooling (GAP), and Bigger-Left Non-Maximum Suppression (BL-NMS). With the help of high performance COTS components, the proposed scheme can extract target patches and valuable information from remote sensing images quickly and accurately. A ground demonstration and verification system is built to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of our scheme. Our method achieves the performance with 95.9% recall and 80.5% precision in our dataset. Experimental results show that the scheme has a good application prospect in micro-nano satellites with limited power and computing resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Micro- and Nano-Satellites for Earth Observation)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Elevation Angle on CYGNSS GNSS-R Bistatic Reflectivity as a Function of Effective Surface Roughness over Land Surfaces
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(11), 1749; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10111749 - 06 Nov 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
The Earth’s surface bistatic reflectivity Γ L H C P , C y G N S S is experimentally characterized using the novel Global Navigation Satellite Systems Reflectometry (GNSS-R) L-band passive multistatic radar technique from the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite Systems (CyGNSS) eight-microsatellite [...] Read more.
The Earth’s surface bistatic reflectivity Γ L H C P , C y G N S S is experimentally characterized using the novel Global Navigation Satellite Systems Reflectometry (GNSS-R) L-band passive multistatic radar technique from the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite Systems (CyGNSS) eight-microsatellite constellation. The focus of this study is to evaluate the influence of the GNSS satellites’ elevation angle θ e on Γ L H C P , C y G N S S , as a function of soil moisture content (SMC) and effective surface roughness parameter h . As the average response, the change of the scattering regime at a global scale and considering also vegetated surfaces appears at θ e ≈ 55°. This empirical observation is understood as a change on the dominant scattering term, from incoherent to coherent. Then, the correlation of Γ L H C P , C y G N S S and SMC is evaluated as a function of θ e over specific sparsely vegetated target areas. The smoother the surface, the higher the angular variability of the Pearson correlation coefficients. Over croplands (e.g., Argentinian Pampas), an improved correlation coefficient is achieved over angular ranges where the coherent scattering regime becomes the dominant one. As such, this function depends on the surface roughness. The maximum correlation coefficients are found at different θ e for increasing mean roughness levels: r P a m p a s ≈ 0.78 at θ e ≈ [60,70]°, r I n d i a ≈ 0.72 at θ e ≈ [50,60]°, and r S u d a n ≈ 0.74 at θ e ≈ [30,40]°. SMC retrieval algorithms based on GNSS-R multi-angular information could benefit from these findings, so as to improve the accuracy using single-polarized signals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Micro- and Nano-Satellites for Earth Observation)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop