Special Issue "Recent Advances in Remote Sensing with Nighttime Lights"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (27 July 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Feng Chi Hsu
Guest Editor
Earth Observation Group, the Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines, 1600 Jackson St. Golden, GO 80401, USA
Interests: Nighttime remote sensing, Space observed socio-economic activity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The view of the world at night is not only stunning, but also a vivid testimony of human presence on earth. Consequently, nighttime light remote sensing has been popular among researchers for studying presence of human population; patterns of urbanization and land-use; economic activity; impact of natural disasters and wars through loss of lighting; air pollution; light pollution and its impacts on human health and other animals; boat detections; and studies related to fires and flares.


The United States Air Force Defence Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operation Linescan System (OLS) has been collecting global low light imaging data for more than forty years, and it has been digitally archived and processed by the Earth Observation Group at NOAA since 1992. Even with its known imperfections, the DMSP-OLS low light images established the possibilities of spatial approximations of various socio-economic, and demographic variables, which are otherwise difficult to measure and map at finer spatial resolutions.

In 2011, the first Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite was launched. The VIIRS low light imaging data provides considerable improvements over the DMSP-OLS data in terms of spatial resolution, dynamic range, and on-board calibration. The second VIIRS instrument aboard Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) was launched on November, 2017, and continues to collect low light imaging data. In addition, there are other satellites such as the Israel’s EROS-B, which provides high spatial resolution images of nighttime lights, and China’s Jilin-1 which captures high resolution night-time videos; and the astronaut photos from the International Space Station.

This special issue aims to publish original manuscripts of recent advances in research focusing on nighttime lights and its scientific applications. Review contributions are also welcome. We invite papers covering the following topics –

  • Potential of new sensors and satellites in estimating nighttime brightness at higher spatial resolutions
  • Applications of nighttime lights to study various socio-economic, environmental and demographic phenomena
  • Use of nighttime lights in detecting combustion sources
  • Studies related to light pollution and its impacts
  • Amalgamation of nighttime lights and other remote sensing data
  • Spectral analysis of nighttime lights
  • New sensor design recommendations for nighttime lights

Dr. Tilottama Ghosh

Dr. Feng Chi Hsu 

Guest Editor

Dr. Tilottama Ghosh
Dr. Feng Chi Hsu
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 2400 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.


  • • Nighttime light remote sensing • DMSP-OLS • Suomi NPP VIIRS • Socio-economic applications • Environmental applications • Light Pollution • Detection of combustion sources • Urbanization and urban area mapping • EROS-B • Jilin-1

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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