Remote Sensing: Meaning, Concept and Components | Geography (2022)

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In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Introduction to Remote Sensing 2. Concept of Remote Sensing 3. Components 4. Satellite Remote Sensing.

Introduction to Remote Sensing:

Remote sensing in the science and art of obtaining information about an object, area or phenomenon through the analysis of data acquired by a device that is not in contact with the object, area, or phenomenon under investigation. It is a technology for sampling electromagnetic radiation to acquire and interpret non-immediate geospatial data from which to extract information about features, objects and classes on the Earth’s land surface, oceans and atmosphere (and, where applicable, on the exteriors of other bodies in the solar system, or, in the broadest framework, celestial bodies such as stars and galaxies).

Without direct contact, some means of transferring information through space must be utilized. In other words, remote sensing refers to instrument-based techniques used in the acquisition and measurement of spatially organized (distributed) data/information on some property (ies) (spectral; spatial; physical) of an array of target points (pixels) within the sensed scene that correspond to features, objects and materials, doing this by applying one or more recording devices not in physical, intimate contact with the item(s) under surveillance.

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The remote sensing techniques involve amassing knowledge pertinent to the sensed scene (target) by utilizing electromagnetic radiation, force fields, or acoustic energy by employing cameras, microwave radiometers and scanners, lasers, radio frequency receivers, radar systems, sonar, thermal devices, seismographs, magnetometers, gravimeters, scintillo­meters and other sensing instruments.

All these advanced instruments gather different types of data that can be interpreted to derive accurate, large-scale information about the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. Because these data and images are digital, they can easily be quantified and manipulated using computers.

This makes remote sensing a uniquely versatile tool, since the same data can be analyzed in different ways for different applications. Some of the fields that use remote sensing are agriculture, forestry, geology, archaeology, oceanography, architecture, meteorology, etc.

Concept of Remote Sensing:

When electromagnetic radiation falls upon a surface, some of its energy is absorbed while some is transmitted through the surface and the rest is reflected. Surfaces also naturally emit radiation in the form of heat. Photographic films or digital sensors in the satellite or aerial vehicle record the reflected and emitted radiation. Since the intensity and wavelengths of this radiation depend on the nature of surface, each surface is described as possessing a characteristic spectral signature.

Specific instruments and software’s are used to identify and distinguish between different spectral signatures which will be ultimately useful in mapping the extent of surfaces. Satellite remote sensing is widely used as a tool in many parts of the world for the management of the natural resources and global activities. The remote sensing is divided into two major categories – satellite remote sensing and aerial photography.

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The satellite may be geostationary (which permits continuous sensing of a portion of the Earth) or sun-synchronous with polar orbit (which covers entire Earth at the same equator crossing time. The LANDSAT series satellites have a repeat period ranging from 16-18 days, whereas in IRS satellite, it is 22 days. Sensor is a device used for making observations and uses satellite as platform and observes large areas of the Earth surface.

Components of Remote Sensing:

Major Components of Remote Sensing Technology:

(Video) What is Remote Sensing? Understanding Remote Sensing

The following are major components of remote sensing system:

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1. Energy Source:

i. Passive System:

Sun, irradiance from earth’s materials.

ii. Active System:

Irradiance from artificially generated energy sources such as radar.

2. Platforms:

These are vehicles to carry the sensor e.g. truck, aircraft, space shuttle, satellite, etc.

3. Sensors:

Device to detect electro-magnetic radiation e.g. camera, scanner, etc.

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4. Detectors:

(Video) Lecture 1 Basic Concepts of Remote Sensing

Handling signal data e.g. photographic, digital, etc.

5. Processing:

Handling signal data e.g. photographic, digital etc.

6. Institutionalization:

These are organizations for execution of all stages of remote sensing technology e.g. International and national organizations, research centres, universities, etc.

Classification of Remote Sensing:

With respect to the type of energy resources, remote sensing is classified into two categories – passive and active remote sensing.

i. Passive Remote Sensing:

It makes use of sensors that detect the reflected or emitted electro-magnetic radiation from natural sources.

ii. Active Remote Sensing:

It makes use of sensors that detect reflected responses from objects that are irradiated from artificially-generated energy sources, such as radar.

With respect to wavelength regions, remote sensing is classified into three categories:

i. Visible and Reflective Infrared Remote Sensing.

ii. Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing.

iii. Microwave Remote Sensing.

(Video) Meaning & Process of Remote Sensing | Components & Stages | Electromagnetic Spectrum

Satellite Remote Sensing:

The Earth is constantly under observation by many satellites orbiting the planet and collecting data. They are engaged in an activity called “remote sensing”, the act of obtaining information about something without being in direct contact with it. The satellite images, as well as the actual predictions, are obtained through remote sensing of the Earth.

The satellites don’t gather the information themselves; they simply orbit the Earth and provide platforms from which the sensors can observe large areas of the surface. Airplanes also provide platforms for remote sensing and some sensors operate from land. Remote sensing satellites are launched by government agencies of many countries including India, and are usually equipped with sensors that serve a particular purpose.

For the past four decades, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched more than 65 satellites for various scientific and technological applications like mobile communications, Direct-to-Home services, meteorological observations, telemedicine, tele- education, disaster warning, radio networking, search and rescue operations, remote sensing and scientific studies of the space.

ISRO has established two major space systems, the Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) series for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services which is geo-stationary satellites, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management which is Earth observation satellites. ISRO has launched many experimental satellites which are generally small comparing to INSAT or IRS.

Important Terminologies:

i. Analog and Digital Images:

An image is a two-dimensional representation of objects in a real scene. Remote sensing images are representations of parts of the earth surface as seen from space. The images may be analog or digital. Aerial photographs are examples of analog images while satellite images acquired using electronic sensors are examples of digital images.

ii. Multilayer Image:

Several types of measurement may be made from the ground area covered by a single pixel. Each type of measurement forms an image which carries some specific information about the area. By “stacking” these images from the same area together, a multilayer image is formed. Each component image is a layer in the multilayer image. Multilayer images can also be formed by combining images obtained from different sensors and other subsidiary data.

iii. Multispectral Image:

A multispectral image consists of a few image layers, each layer represents an image acquired at a particular wavelength band. For example, if a sensor operating in the multispectral mode detects radiations in three wavelength bands: the green (500-590 nm), red (610-680 nm) and near infrared (790-890 nm) bands, then a single multispectral scene consists of three intensity images in the three wavelength bands.

In this case, each pixel of the scene has three intensity values corresponding to the three bands. While a Landsat TM multispectral image consists of seven bands: blue, green, red, near-IR bands, two SWIR bands and a thermal IR band.

iv. Superspectral Image:

The more recent satellite sensors are capable of acquiring images at many more wavelength bands e.g. nearly 36 spectral bands, covering the wavelength regions ranging from the visible, near infrared, short-wave infrared to the thermal infrared. The bands have narrower bandwidths, enabling the finer spectral characteristics of the targets to be captured by the sensor.

v. Hyperspectral Image:

(Video) What is Remote Sensing and GIS?

A hyperspectral image consists of about a hundred or more contiguous spectral bands. The characteristic spectrum of the target pixel is acquired in a hyperspectral image. The precise spectral information contained in a hyperspectral image enables better characterization and identification of targets.

vi. Spatial Resolution:

It refers to the size of the smallest object that can be resolved on the ground. It is a measure of the smallest area identifiable on a digital image as a discrete separate unit (typically pixels) or measure of the smallest angular or linear separation between two objects that can be resolved by the sensor.

A “High Resolution” image refers to one with a small resolution size. Fine details can be seen in a high resolution image. On the other hand, a “Low Resolution” image is one with a large resolution size, i.e. only coarse features can be observed in the image.

vii. Spectral Resolution:

Spectral resolution describes the specific wavelengths that the sensor can record within the electromagnetic spectrum. Narrow bandwidths in certain regions of the electromagnetic spectrum allow the discrimination of various features more easily.

viii. Temporal Resolution:

Temporal resolution is a description of how often a sensor can obtain imagery of a particular area of interest. It is based on the repeat period of a parti­cular satellite. Ideally, the sensor obtains data repetitively to capture unique discriminating characteristics of the phenomena of interest.

ix. Radiometric Resolution:

Radiometric resolution refers to the smallest change in intensity level that can be detected by the sensing system. It is the capability to differentiate the spectral reflectance/ remittance from various targets. This depends on the number of quantization levels within the spectral band. In other words, the number of bits of digital data in the spectral band will decide the sensitivity of sensor.

Utilization of Satellite Remote Sensing Techniques:

Satellites have been providing multispectral images of the Earth continuously since the early 1970’s. A unique 40 years data record of the Earth’s land surface now exists. This unique retrospective portrait of the Earth’s surface has been used across disciplines to achieve improved understanding of the Earth’s land surface and the impacts of humans on the environment.

Satellite data have been utilized in a variety of government, public, private and national security applications. Examples include land and water management, global change research, oil and mineral exploration, agricultural yield forecasting, pollution monitoring, land surface change detection, cartographic mapping, etc.

Satellite based remotely sensed digital data have been used to map forest resources since the inception of the LANDSAT satellite programme in 1972. Satellites provide synoptic images and homogeneous data, which can be geographically registered over time and which can be therefore an efficient tool for providing high quality forest management information. Since the 1980s, with the availability of scanners, improvements in computer software and development of image processing algorithms, there have been many studies of remote sensing applications in forestry.

Home ›› Geography ›› Remote Sensing ›› Meaning of Remote Sensing

(Video) Principles of Remote Sensing: Definition, Workflow and components Part-1

FAQs

What is remote sensing and its components? ›

Remote sensing is the process of detecting and monitoring the physical characteristics of an area by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation at a distance (typically from satellite or aircraft). Special cameras collect remotely sensed images, which help researchers "sense" things about the Earth.

What are the 3 remote sensing? ›

There are three broad categories of remote sensing platforms: ground based, airborne, and satellite.

What are the types of remote sensing explain? ›

There exist two main types of remote sensing classified according to the source of signal they use to explore the object, active vs. passive. Active remote sensing instruments operate with their own source of emission or light, while passive ones rely on the reflected one.

What is importance of remote sensing? ›

The advantages of remote sensing include the ability to collect information over large spatial areas; to characterize natural features or physical objects on the ground; to observe surface areas and objects on a systematic basis and monitor their changes over time; and the ability to integrate this data with other ...

What are the components of GIS? ›

A working GIS integrates five key components: hardware, software, data, people, and methods.

What are the 5 main components of a remote sensing system? ›

  • COMPONENTS OF REMOTE SENSING. ...
  • 1.1 Energy Source or Illumination. ...
  • 1.2 Interaction with the Target.
  • 1.3 Recording of Energy by the Sensor. ...
  • 1.4 Transmission, Reception, and Processing. ...
  • 1.5 Interpretation and Analysis. ...
  • CONCEPT OF SPECTRAL SIGNATURES. ...
  • EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEMS.

What are the two types of remote sensing? ›

There are two types of remote sensing instruments—passive and active. Passive instruments detect natural energy that is reflected or emitted from the observed scene. Passive instruments sense only radiation emitted by the object being viewed or reflected by the object from a source other than the instrument.

What are 3 applications of GIS? ›

Here are 20 ways GIS Data is used in Business and Everyday Life:
  • Mapping. ...
  • Telecom and Network Services. ...
  • Accident Analysis and Hot Spot Analysis. ...
  • Urban planning. ...
  • Transportation Planning. ...
  • Environmental Impact Analysis. ...
  • Agricultural Applications. ...
  • Disaster Management and Mitigation.

What is the basic principle of remote sensing? ›

"Remote sensing is the science (and to some extent, art) of acquiring information about the Earth's surface without actually being in contact with it. This is done by sensing and recording reflected or emitted energy and processing, analyzing, and applying that information."

What is the concept of GIS? ›

A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth's surface. By relating seemingly unrelated data, GIS can help individuals and organizations better understand spatial patterns and relationships.

Where is remote sensing used? ›

Remote sensing technology is used in a wide variety of disciplines in thousands of different use cases, including most earth sciences, such as meteorology, geology, hydrology, ecology, oceanography, glaciology, geography, and in land surveying, as well as applications in military, intelligence, commercial, economic, ...

What are the characteristics of remote sensing? ›

There are four major characteristics of a remote sensing system, namely, an electromagnetic energy source, transmission path, target, and sensor. The Sun is a common source of electromagnetic energy.

What are the three components of GIS? ›

Within the realm of geographic information technologies there are three major components: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Remote Sensing (RS).

What is remote sensing in GIS? ›

Remote sensing is one of the methods commonly used for collecting physical data to be integrated into GIS. Remote sensors collect data from objects on the earth without any direct contact. They do this by detecting energy reflected from the earth, and are typically mounted on satellites or aircraft.

What is image in remote sensing? ›

It is important to distinguish between the terms images and photographs in remote sensing. An image refers to any pictorial representation, regardless of what wavelengths or remote sensing device has been used to detect and record the electromagnetic energy.

What is the conclusion of remote sensing? ›

Conclusions. Although remote sensing techniques have primarily been viewed as a means for gathering data that are then interpreted by the user, they are increasingly serving other roles in scientific and applied research.

What is the future of remote sensing? ›

One could simply say that the future will bring better, faster and smaller technology to remote sensing. Several trends that will continue are: the decreasing size of electronics and sensors, increases in computing power, increases in transmitting power for active systems, and increasing "tunability" of systems.

Who is the father of GIS? ›

Roger Tomlinson (1933-2014) is generally recognized as the "father of GIS.” He is the visionary geographer who conceived and developed the first GIS for use by the Canada Land Inventory in the early 1960s.

What are the 6 components of GIS? ›

The six parts of a GIS are: hardware, software, data, methods, people, and network. Previously, there were only five parts to a GIS.

What are the 5 functions of GIS? ›

Definition of GIS

Functions of GIS include: data entry, data display, data management, information retrieval and analysis.

What is remote sensing PDF? ›

“Remote Sensing is the art and science of acquiring information about the earth surface without. having any physical contact with it. This is done by sensing and recording of reflected and emitted energy.” ❖ Remote Sensing Process.

What are the components of remote sensing Class 9? ›

The four basic components of remote sensing system are:- 1. Target 2. Energy source 3. Transmission path and 4. Sensor.
  • Target.
  • Energy source.
  • Transmission path and.
  • Sensor.

What are the types of remote sensing satellites? ›

Satellites can be classified by their orbital geometry and timing. Three types of orbits are typically used in remote sensing satellites, such as geostationary, equatorial, and sun-synchronous orbits.

Who invented remote sensing? ›

Evelyn Pruitt, a geographer with the U.S. Office of Naval Research, was the first to coin the term 'remote sensing'.

What are the types of satellite? ›

There are two different types of satellites – natural and man-made. Examples of natural satellites are the Earth and Moon. The Earth rotates around the Sun and the Moon rotates around the Earth. A man-made satellite is a machine that is launched into space and orbits around a body in space.

What are the types of GIS? ›

There are two different types of GIS data, vector data and raster data. Each type of data has its own format.

What is the scope of GIS? ›

A GIS is an operational system that allows resource managers to use some of the tools and skills that geographers use, and a little bit more. Using GIS soft- ware, you can put maps and other geographic data into the computer. After you have the data in the computer, you can store, retrieve, and edit that data.

What are the advantage of GIS? ›

GIS allows users to organize, visualize, and analyze different layers of data by creating maps and scenes. With the ability to clearly visualize different types of data, users are enabled to uncover patterns, understand trends, monitor changes, and respond to events—facilitating better decision making.

What are the output of remote sensing? ›

The output of a remote sensing system is usually an image representing the scene being observed. A further step of image analysis and interpretation is required in order to extract useful information from the image. The human visual system is an example of a remote sensing system in this general sense.

What is frequency in remote sensing? ›

Remote-Sensing Community Frequency Range. IEEE Radar Frequency Range. HF. 3-30 MHz. 3-30 MHz.

What is remote sensing PPT? ›

Remote Sensing is a technology for sampling electromagnetic radiation to acquire and interpret non-immediate geospatial data from which to extract information about features and objects on the Earth's land surface, oceans, and atmosphere - Dr. Nicholas Short 5.

What is difference between GIS and remote sensing? ›

Remote sensing entails obtaining information about the Earth's surface by examining data acquired by a device, which is at a distance from the surface, most often satellites orbiting the earth and airplanes. GIS are computer-based systems that are used to capture, store, analyze, and display geographic information.

What are the four applications of GIS? ›

The major areas of GIS application
  • Public works/infrastructure management (roads, water, sewer)
  • Planning and environmental management.
  • property records and appraisal.

What is the value of GIS? ›

GIS helps users understand patterns, relationships, and geographic context. The benefits include improved communication and efficiency as well as better management and decision making.

What are the 4 types of resolution? ›

There are four types of resolution to consider for any dataset—radiometric, spatial, spectral, and temporal. Radiometric resolution is the amount of information in each pixel, that is, the number of bits representing the energy recorded.

What is disadvantage of remote sensing? ›

Remote sensing is a fairly expensive method of analysis especially when measuring or analyzing smaller areas. Remote sensing requires a special kind of training to analyze the images.

Is GPS a remote sensing? ›

Remote sensing is a GIS data collection and processing technique. GPS (global positioning system) is a way to assign a location to a point on the Earth. Remote sensing is the use of sensors on board either planes or satellites to collect data usually in a grid like pattern of pixels called raster data.

What are examples of remote sensing? ›

RADAR and LiDAR are examples of active remote sensing where the time delay between emission and return is measured, establishing the location, speed and direction of an object.

What are active and passive sensors? ›

An active sensor is a sensing device that requires an external source of power to operate; active sensors contrast with passive sensors, which simply detect and respond to some type of input from the physical environment.

What is map used for? ›

A map is a symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface. Maps present information about the world in a simple, visual way. They teach about the world by showing sizes and shapes of countries, locations of features, and distances between places.

What is raster image in GIS? ›

Rasters are digital aerial photographs, imagery from satellites, digital pictures, or even scanned maps. Data stored in a raster format represents real-world phenomena: Thematic data (also known as discrete) represents features such as land-use or soils data.

What is difference between vector and raster data? ›

Raster data is stored as a grid of values which are rendered on a map as pixels. Each pixel value represents an area on the Earth's surface. Vector data structures represent specific features on the Earth's surface, and assign attributes to those features.

What are the components of remote sensing Class 9? ›

The four basic components of remote sensing system are:- 1. Target 2. Energy source 3. Transmission path and 4. Sensor.
  • Target.
  • Energy source.
  • Transmission path and.
  • Sensor.

What are the three components of GIS? ›

Within the realm of geographic information technologies there are three major components: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Remote Sensing (RS).

What is remote sensing in GIS? ›

Remote sensing is one of the methods commonly used for collecting physical data to be integrated into GIS. Remote sensors collect data from objects on the earth without any direct contact. They do this by detecting energy reflected from the earth, and are typically mounted on satellites or aircraft.

What is remote sensing PDF? ›

“Remote Sensing is the art and science of acquiring information about the earth surface without. having any physical contact with it. This is done by sensing and recording of reflected and emitted energy.” ❖ Remote Sensing Process.

What is image in remote sensing? ›

It is important to distinguish between the terms images and photographs in remote sensing. An image refers to any pictorial representation, regardless of what wavelengths or remote sensing device has been used to detect and record the electromagnetic energy.

Who gave the term remote sensing? ›

The term "remote sensing," first used in the United States in the 1950s by Ms. Evelyn Pruitt of the U.S. Office of Naval Research, is now commonly used to describe the science—and art—of identifying, observing, and measuring an object without coming into direct contact with it.

What is FCC in remote sensing? ›

False Colour Composite (FCC) : An artificially generated colour image in which blue, green and red colours are assigned to the wavelength regions to which they do not belong in nature.

Who is the father of GIS? ›

Roger Tomlinson (1933-2014) is generally recognized as the "father of GIS.” He is the visionary geographer who conceived and developed the first GIS for use by the Canada Land Inventory in the early 1960s.

What are the 6 components of GIS? ›

The six parts of a GIS are: hardware, software, data, methods, people, and network. Previously, there were only five parts to a GIS.

What are the 5 functions of GIS? ›

Definition of GIS

Functions of GIS include: data entry, data display, data management, information retrieval and analysis.

Where is remote sensing used? ›

Remote sensing technology is used in a wide variety of disciplines in thousands of different use cases, including most earth sciences, such as meteorology, geology, hydrology, ecology, oceanography, glaciology, geography, and in land surveying, as well as applications in military, intelligence, commercial, economic, ...

What are 3 applications of GIS? ›

Here are 20 ways GIS Data is used in Business and Everyday Life:
  • Mapping. ...
  • Telecom and Network Services. ...
  • Accident Analysis and Hot Spot Analysis. ...
  • Urban planning. ...
  • Transportation Planning. ...
  • Environmental Impact Analysis. ...
  • Agricultural Applications. ...
  • Disaster Management and Mitigation.

What are examples of remote sensing? ›

RADAR and LiDAR are examples of active remote sensing where the time delay between emission and return is measured, establishing the location, speed and direction of an object.

What are the 5 main components of a remote sensing system? ›

  • COMPONENTS OF REMOTE SENSING. ...
  • 1.1 Energy Source or Illumination. ...
  • 1.2 Interaction with the Target.
  • 1.3 Recording of Energy by the Sensor. ...
  • 1.4 Transmission, Reception, and Processing. ...
  • 1.5 Interpretation and Analysis. ...
  • CONCEPT OF SPECTRAL SIGNATURES. ...
  • EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEMS.

What is remote sensing introduction? ›

"Remote sensing is the science (and to some extent, art) of acquiring information about the Earth's surface without actually being in contact with it. This is done by sensing and recording reflected or emitted energy and processing, analyzing, and applying that information."

What is FCC and TCC? ›

True Colour Composite (TCC) • Red band – Red; Green band – Green; Blue band – Blue. • False Colour Composite (FCC) • Any other combination of colours. • E.g., Blue band – Red; Red band – Green; Green band – Blue.

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