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Remote Sensing and Image Processing - Essay Example

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This essay "Remote Sensing and Image Processing" discusses the process of obtaining information about the earth's surface from an overhead perspective. Interpretation of remotely-sensed images should be supported and validated by ground-truthed information. …
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Remote Sensing and Image Processing
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Download file to see previous pages Data is processed (F) before being provided to end-users, who in turn, will conduct their own analysis for their specific purposes (G).
The signal commonly used in remote sensing is electromagnetic radiation. These waves have different wavelengths and frequencies but travel at a uniform velocity. Waves with longer wavelengths have smaller frequencies and vice versa. The different electromagnetic waves, arranged by increasing wavelengths, are the gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet rays, visible light, infrared, microwaves and radio waves. For remote sensing, the commonly used ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum are visible light, infrared, and microwave (Lillesand et al. 2008; Sabins 1987).
Electromagnetic radiation may be reflected, refracted or absorbed (Campbell 2002; Lillesand et al. 2008). Reflection occurs as incident radiation bounces back from the surface of a material. On a flat surface, the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. However, a rough surface will cause incident radiation to be scattered or reflected in different directions.
The velocity of a wave usually changes as it crosses the boundary between different materials. This change causes the wave to bend or refract (Campbell 2002). The rainbow pattern produced as white light passes through a prism is a result of refraction. Incident radiation can also be absorbed by, stored in, and later emitted by materials (Campbell 2002).
In Figure 1, incident radiation comes from the sun (A) or an artificial source (D). Before it reaches a target object at the earth's surface (C), it passes through the atmosphere (B). The air molecules in the atmosphere prevent particular wavelengths from reaching the surface through reflection, scattering or absorption, and allow other wavelengths to be transmitted to the surface. This screening effect is referred to as atmospheric spectral transmittance (Sabins 1987). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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