The City University of New York

Course Title: EET 3132 Remote Sensing
Courses Description: This course highlights the physical and mathematical principles underlying the remote sensing techniques, covering the radiative transfer equation, atmospheric sounding techniques, interferometric and lidar systems, and an introduction to image processing. The lab component will introduce remote sensing software HYDRA, and MATLAB which will be used for image display and data analysis.


Credit hours: 3 course credits, consisting of 2 classroom hours, and 2 Lab hours
Prerequisites: Calculus I (MAT 1475), Physics 2.2 (PHYS 1434) or Physics 2.3 (PHYS 1442)
Required text:
  1. Remote Sensing from Air And Space by R. C. Olsen, SPIE Press, 2007
Supplemental texts: [1]G. L. Stephens, Remote sensing of the lower atmosphere. An Introduction, Oxford University Press, NY, USA 1994

[2] R. Measures, Laser Remote Sensing: Fundamentals and Applications, Krieger  Publishing Company, Reprint Edition,1992

[3] V. Kovalev, Elastic Lidar, Theory, practice, and analyses methods, John Wiley and sons, New Jersey, USA 2004

[4] H.C. van de Hulst, Light Scattering by Small Particles, Dover Publications, NY, 1981

[5] Hecht E.; “Optics”, 3rd Ed. Addison Wesley, 1998

Prepared by: Viviana Vladutescu



















For the successful completion of this course, the students should be able to: Evaluation Methods and Criteria:

Students will exhibit skills in class discussion, homework assignments, laboratory exercises, quizzes, exams, and course projects.



1. Describe the distribution of radiation in Earth’s atmosphere


1. Students will demonstrate skills in solving radiative transfer equations using numerical methods
2. Describe the atmospheric sounding techniques 2. Students will prove their ability of using kernel functions for retrieval of different atmospheric parameters at different altitude levels
3. Understand the impact that electro optical systems have on remote sensing, obtain atmospheric vertical profiles and interpret the results 3. Students will be able to describe different electro-optical systems and corresponding applications. Students will be able to describe lidar systems and corresponding applications and calculate vertical backscatter and extinction profiles.
4. Analyze optical properties and concentrations of atmospheric trace constituents 4. Students will be able to identify spectral signatures of atmospheric constituents and determine concentrations based on mixing ratios or absorptions of radiation in the corresponding absorption window. Students will also be able to perform the correct measurements using the instrumentation pertaining to the analysis of the atmospheric components of interest.
5. Describe the standard orbits and calculate orbital elements


5. Students will be able to identify the different satellites and their sensors on board along with their applications

6. Derive data from remote sensing systems and incorporate them in initialization and validation of forecast models.



6. Students will be able to manipulate statistical and software techniques (Matlab, IDL or Hydra) for model development



Grading Procedure:
Midterm 15%;
Project 25%;
Laboratory 30%
Final Exam 30%


Week Topic Reading assignments Homework laboratory Assignments
1 Electromagnetics basis

Electromagnetic waves, polarization, spectra and Fourier transform, the Doppler effect, angular distribution of radiation, thermal radiation, diffraction

Pg. 33-45 Problems 1-4/ Pg 29,

Problems 1-5 / Pg 53.


Lab 1: Online remote sensing data resources (Aeronet, Hysplit, NASA, NOAA, etc). Analysis of the downloaded data using Matlab program.
2 Interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter

Propagation through homogeneous materials, Plane boundaries, volume scattering, reflection and emission from real materials

Pg. 48-53 Problems 6-10 /Pg 53.


Lab 2: HYDRA software used for data processing and image display. HYDRA Commands.
3 Interaction of electromagnetic radiation with earth atmosphere

Molecular absorption and scattering, microscopic particles, large particles, radiative transfer equation, propagation through the atmosphere

Pg. 63-70 Problems 1-10 / Pg. 101


Lab 3: Field trips, Internet data downloading
4 Electro optical remote sensing system

Spectral Imagery

VIR imaging systems, Thermal infrared imagers, Atmospheric sounding

Pg. 157-170 Problems 1-4 /Pg 178


Lab 4: Interferometer Measurements of Atmospheric Absorption
5 Orbital mechanics

Gravitational force, circular motion, satellite motion

Pg. 103-115 Problems 1-7 / Pg 115


Lab 5:Calculation of satellite motion, circular motion, orbital elements and standard orbits
6 Remote Sensing of the Earth’s surface and


General considerations, Projects assignments

Pg. 117-127 Problems 1-5 / Pg 136


Lab 6:Using HYDRA to Inspect Multispectral Remote Sensing Data


7 Remote Sensing of the Earth’s surface and


(e.g. ocean color, snow/ice, vegetation, fire, aerosols, & ash)

Pg.127-136, Handouts Problems 6-10 / Pg 136 Lab 7: Analyzing MODIS data viewing land, ocean, and atmosphere
8 Clouds, SST, and Moisture Sensed with MODIS

Cloud masking, sea surface temperature algorithms,

Handouts Handout problems


Lab 8 : Understanding Multispectral Cloud Properties sensed with MODIS
9 Investigations with High Spectral Resolution Sounders

Atmospheric trace gases, absorption features over water and over clouds. On-band and off-band investigations

Handouts Handout problems


Lab 9 : Staging,

Viewing, and

Interrogating AIRS






10 Spectral Signatures seen with AIRS

Spectral signature of opaque clouds, temperature profiles, contrast

Handouts Handout problems


Lab 10 – Exploring

Spectral Properties of

Clouds, Moisture,

and Volcanic Ash

Sensed with AIRS

11 Ranging Systems

Laser profiling, Radar altimetry laser remote-sensor system

Pg. 179-208 Problems 1-6 / Pg 208



Lab 11: Field Trips

12 Scattering Systems

Lidar equation, radar equation,

DIAL equation, geometry of receiver optics, solution of the lidar equation

Pg. 211-218 Problems 1 / Pg 224, Handouts,


Lab 12: LIDAR systems and vertical profiles (Using Matlab software)
13 Atmospheric Lidar applications

Atmospheric studies, spaceborne lidar operation,

Pg. 218-224 Handouts (Matlab codes)


Lab 13: LIDAR backscatter and extinction profiles (Matlab)
14 Data Processing

Transmission and storage of data , image processing

Atmospheric models

Climate models, community models, weather prediction forecast models

WRF, CDAS /models/modelslist.php ,,

Pg. 137-156 Problems 1-5 / Pg 156


Lab 14: Elements of recognition (shape, size, shadow, height, etc), filters, histograms (Matlab)







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