San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California, United States
19 - 23 August 2018
Course (SC567)
Introduction to Optical Remote Sensing Systems
Tuesday 21 August 2018
1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Member Price $390.00
Non-Member Price $445.00
Student Member Price $253.00
  • Course Level:
  • Introductory
  • CEU:
  • 0.4
This course provides a broad introduction to optical remote sensing systems, including both passive sensors (e.g., radiometers and spectral imagers) and active sensors (e.g., laser radars or LIDARs). A brief review of basic principles of radiometry and atmospheric propagation (absorption, emission, and scattering) is followed by a system-level discussion of a variety of ground-, air-, and space-based remote sensing systems. Key equations are presented for predicting the optical resolution and signal-to-noise performance of passive and active sensing systems. Sensor system examples discussed in the class include solar radiometers, passive spectrometers and hyperspectral imagers, airborne imaging spectrometers, thermal infrared imagers, polarization imagers, and active laser radars (LIDARs and LADARs). The course material is directly relevant to sensing in environmental, civilian, military, astronomical, and solar energy applications.
Learning Outcomes
  • review the principles of optical radiometry used to describe and calculate the flow of optical energy in an optical sensor system or solar energy system
  • describe how the atmosphere affects the propagation of optical radiation
  • explain how optical atmospheric effects influence remote sensing measurements or solar energy
  • use system parameters in basic radiometric calculations to predict the signal received by passive and active sensors
  • compare systems at the block-diagram level remote sensing measurements
  • explain the difference between passive imaging based on reflection and emission
  • acquire the operating principles of laser radar (lidar/ladar) systems for distributed and solid target sensing
Scientists, engineers, technicians, or technical managers who find themselves working on (or curious about) optical remote sensing systems or data. Undergraduate training in engineering or science is assumed.
About the
Joseph A. Shaw is a professor of electrical engineering and physics at Montana State University and previously worked at the NOAA research labs. He is a recognized expert in development, calibration, and analysis of optical optical remote sensing systems used in environmental and military sensing. Recognition for his work in this field includes NOAA research awards, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the World Meteorological Organization's Vaisala Prize. He earned a Ph.D. in Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. Dr. Shaw is a Fellow of both the OSA and SPIE.
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