Remote Sensing: Background
Remote sensing is the science of obtaining information about objects or areas from a distance, typically from aircraft imagery. Remote sensors collect data by detecting the energy that is reflected from Earth. These sensors are often found on mounted aircraft. Remote sensors can be either passive or active. Passive sensors respond to external stimuli. They record natural energy that is reflected or emitted from the Earth’s surface. The most common source of radiation detected by passive sensors is reflected sunlight. In contrast, active sensors use internal stimuli to collect data about Earth. For example, laser-beam remote sensing systems project a laser onto the Earth’s surface and measure the time that it takes for it to reflect back to the sensor. Remote sensing has a wide range of applications in many different fields.

Applications
The Centre has expertise in coastal applications, that is monitoring shoreline changes, tracking sediment transport and mapping coastal features. Specifically, this type of data analysis can be used for coastal mapping and erosion prevention. We have worked closely with Brazilian experts on a project that mapped certain areas of the Amazon’s coastal features using RADARSAT-2,
via the Canadian remote sensing Earth observation commercial program overseen by the Canadian Government. The Centre also has applicative expertise in remote sensing of natural resource management by monitoring land use, mapping wetlands and charting wildlife habitats. Data can be used to minimise damage and intrusion from urban centres and help decide how to best protect against natural resources. Other applications of using remote sensing include ocean and hazard assessment applications. Both specialise in tracking and monitoring changes and impacts to create preparedness strategies to be used before and after an investigation.

EXAMPLE OF CROP PHENOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

THE PHENOLOGICAL DYNAMICS OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS REFLECT THE RESPONSE OF THE EARTH’S BIOSPHERE TO INTER- AND INTRA-ANNUAL DYNAMICS OF THE EARTH’S CLIMATE AND HYDROLOGIC REGIMES. REMOTELY SENSED SATELLITE DATA POSSESS SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL FOR MONITORING VEGETATION DYNAMICS, DUE TO THEIR SYNOPTIC COVERAGE AND FREQUENT TEMPORAL SAMPLING. THIS ENABLES THE MONITORING OF SIMPLE PHENOLOGICAL EVENTS, SUCH AS THE START AND PEAK OF VEGETATION GROWTH, BOTH IN NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS AND IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES. THE EXAMPLE MAPS SHOW SATELLITE-DERIVED PHENOLOGICAL INDICATORS: (TOP) AVERAGE START OF SEASON (SOS) AND PEAK OF SEASON (POS) IN BRAZIL (FROM SPOT VEGETATION SATELLITE DATA 2000–2009); (BOTTOM) MODERATE RESOLUTION IMAGING SPECTRORADIOMETER (MODIS)-DERIVED START OF SEASON (SOS) IN 2011 IN AUSTRIA (Atzberger, 2013).


REMOTE SENSING PASSIVE VERSUS ACTIVE





RADARSAT CONSTELLATION MAPPING










CHARACTERISING THE LAND SURFACE PHENOLOGY OF EUROPE USING DECADAL MERIS DATA