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Proceedings Paper

Atmospheric Effects On Remote Sensing Of Surface Reflectance
Author(s): Yoram J. Kaufman
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Paper Abstract

This paper reviews the atmospheric effects on remote sensing of surface reflectance. The scattering and absorption of sunlight by atmospheric molecules and aerosols affects the quality of images of the surface remotely sensed from satellites and aircrafts. The concentration and characteristics of the atmospheric aerosols vary from place to place and vary with time. The effect of atmospheric aerosols on the upward radiance depends on their optical thickness, scattering phase function and absorption. These parameters result from the aerosol concentration, composition, and the relative humidity. For high resolution images the aerosol scale height is also of importance. The radiative transfer theory that predicts the atmospheric radiances for a given surface and atmosphere is a well established theory for the case of uniform surfaces (or low resolution data). Some radiative transfer models exist for nonuniform surfaces and others are being developed. Recent field experiment and laboratory simulation data confirm the need for these models and can be used for their testing. It is shown that the atmospheric effect reduces the apparent resolution of satellite imagery and causes errors in the classification of surface fields. Suggestions for correction procedures are given. Such corrections can be based on ground observations, on satellite radiances above dark areas, or on climatologic information, depending on the accuracy of the corrections needed. The chosen correction algorithm depends also on the image resolution and the specific remote sensing application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 October 1984
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 0475, Remote Sensing: Critical Review of Technology, (16 October 1984); doi: 10.1117/12.966238
Show Author Affiliations
Yoram J. Kaufman, University of Maryland and Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0475:
Remote Sensing: Critical Review of Technology
Philip N. Slater, Editor(s)

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