Remote sensing systems – Platforms and sensors: Aerial, satellites, UAVs, optical, radar, and LiDAR: Chapter 1

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The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing defined remote sensing as the measurement or acquisition of information of some property of an object or phenomenon, by a recording device that is not in physical or intimate contact with the object or phenomenon under study (Colwell et al., 1983). Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) in its geographic information system (GIS) dictionary defines remote sensing as “collecting and interpreting information about the environment and the surface of the earth from a distance, primarily by sensing radiation that is naturally emitted or reflected by the earth’s surface or from the atmosphere, or by sending signals transmitted from a device and reflected back to it (ESRI, 2014).” The usual source of passive remote sensing data is the measurement of reflected or transmitted electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from the sun across the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS); this can also include acoustic or sound energy, gravity, or the magnetic field from or of the objects under consideration. In this context, the simple act of reading this text is considered remote sensing. In this case, the eye acts as a sensor and senses the light reflected from the object to obtain information about the object. It is the same technology used by a handheld camera to take a photograph of a person or a distant scenic view. Active remote sensing, however, involves sending a pulse of energy and then measuring the returned energy through a sensor (e.g., Radio Detection and Ranging [RADAR], Light Detection and Ranging [LiDAR]). Thermal sensors measure emitted energy by different objects. Thus, in general, passive remote sensing involves the measurement of solar energy reflected from the Earth’s surface, while active remote sensing involves synthetic (man-made) energy pulsed at the environment and the return signals are measured and recorded.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Remote sensing systems – Platforms and sensors: Aerial, satellites, UAVs, optical, radar, and LiDAR: Chapter 1
ISBN 9781482217865
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher CRC Press
Publisher location Boca Raton, FL
Contributing office(s) Western Geographic Science Center
Description 55 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Remotely Sensed Data Characterization, Classification, and Accuracies
First page 3
Last page 57
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