Research Toward Improving the Quality of Satellite Remote Sensing Data

Key Investigator: Robert C. Wrigley

Remote sensing instruments on aircraft and spacecraft "see" the ground through the enveloping blanket of the earth's atmosphere. The atmosphere substantially affects the signal received by the remote sensing instruments. In order to analyze properly the signals received by these instruments, corrections for the affects of the atmosphere must be performed. Such corrections have proven to be difficult.

Recent work at Ames Research Center has shown that it is possible to provide quantitative corrections for atmospheric effects in remotely sensed imagery. An instrument developed at Ames, the Airborne Tracking Sun Photometer, was used to quantify these atmospheric effects. The improvement in the quality of the data when this correction is performed is evident by comparing Figure 1 and Figure 2 . Both figures show an area in Kansas as observed by a remote sensor imager on October 11, 1987 from an altitude of 4900 m. Figure 1 shows an image uncorrected for atmospheric effects while Figure 2 shows the same image that has been corrected for atmospheric effects using concurrently collected data from the Airborne Tracking Sun Photometer. Such corrected images provide greater insight into the earth's surface and atmospheric processes.



Atmospheric Physics Research Branch (Code SGP), NASA/Ames Research CCenter; SRI International, Menlo Park, CA

For more information on the Airborne Tracking Sun Photometer, click here.

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