Remote Sensing of Earth & Planetary Surfaces

This course will cover the broad spectrum of techniques for making remote measurements of the composition, morphology, and thermophysical properties of solid surfaces on Earth and other planetary bodies. Both the physics underlying the techniques and their applications to a range of problems of interest will be discussed. Students will gain experience accessing, processing and interpreting remote sensing data, and will acquire an understanding of which techniques are most useful for answering particular scientific questions about a range of land environments.

MW 3:05-4:25 PM @ ES&T L1175

James Wray
ES&T Room 2234
Office hours: TBA, or by appointment (Email:

Weekly reading will be assigned from several remote sensing textbooks. Additional references and links to online data sources are provided on the Resources page.

Course requirements:artists-impression-of-smos
Homeworks and labs: 30%
Exams (midterm and final): 35%
Final Project: 30%
Class Participation: 5%

Topics to be covered (tentative)
Electromagnetic Spectrum Overview
Radiative Transfer
Imaging Systems and Processing
Visible/NIR Reflectance Spectroscopy
Thermal IR Spectroscopy
Thermal Inertia
Radar, Lidar
X-ray, γ-ray Spectroscopy
Neutron Spectroscopy