Postgraduate Course: Radiative Transfer (PGGE11055)
This course will be closed from 13 January 2017
Course Outline
School  School of Geosciences 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  10 
ECTS Credits  5 
Summary  Radiative transfer is the theory that describes how electromagnetic radiation propagates through and interacts with matter. The varied imprints of these interactions on topofatmosphere radiance spectra are the data that make possible much remote sensing. Account also needs to be taken of the transfer of radiation through the observing instrument to its detectors. The aim of this course is therefore that students understand radiative transfer theory at a level of detail sufficient to underpin remote sensing of surface characteristics and of the state of the atmosphere. 
Course description 
Not entered

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Prerequisites 

Corequisites  
Prohibited Combinations  
Other requirements  None 
Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered 
Learning Outcomes
In this course we shall confine our attention
to remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and surfaces using electromagnetic radiation, using
instruments carried on satellites. Many of the techniques thus covered are of relevance in other
applications however.
A major advantage of remote sensing is global coverage; a polar orbiting satellite typically makes
14 orbits per day while the earth rotates underneath, so that the subsatellite point passes within
about o 15 longitude of any point twice per day. Another advantage is uniformity; in situ
measurements suffer from the fact that different observations are made with different instruments
so that variations in calibration may be difficult to remove. Remotely sensed data from a single
satellite instrument are relatively free from this difficulty.
To be able to be able to interpret the signals from satellite instruments in terms of the geophysical
entities which were ultimately responsible for them it is necessary to understand how radiation is
emitted, scattered and absorbed by the surface and the atmosphere. This understanding is the
subject of radiative transfer theory. This theory can be conveniently divided into two parts, the
forward problem, namely, for a given state of the surface and atmosphere calculate what would be
observed by the satellite, and the inverse problem, namely for a given measurement at the satellite,
deduce what state of surface and/or atmosphere produced it. Ability to solve the forward problem is
a prerequisite for the inverse problem. Accordingly this is considered first in Radiative Transfer (Semester 1).
Discussion of the inverse problem is given in Inverse Theory (Semester 2).

Contacts
Course organiser  Dr Chris Merchant
Tel: (0131 6)50 5097
Email: v1cmarc3@exseed.ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Ms Caroline Keir
Tel: (0131 6)51 7192
Email: caroline.keir@ed.ac.uk 

