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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing (PGGE11233)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 20 point course aims to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of remote sensing. The aim is to equip students with the wide range of background knowledge and practical skills necessary to use remotely sensed observations with understanding. The courses therefore underpin more specialist remote sensing courses (available to Masters students in Semester 2) and support any RS- or IP-related project or dissertation work that students may pursue. Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing (PPRS) is an introductory course in the disciplines of Remote Sensing (RS) and Image Processing (IP). ¿Introductory¿ here does not mean ¿easy¿, but that no prior knowledge of RS or IP is assumed. The courses teach both qualitative and quantitative skills in RS & IP.
Course description Remote sensing is the use of remote observations, often space-based observations, to make inferences about the state of Earth's varied environments. Space-based observations usually consist of measurements of electromagnetic (EM) radiation made by specialist sensors at times and locations constrained by the mechanics of satellite orbits. A wide variety of wavelengths of EM radiation are used, with different wavelengths imprinted with different information about Earth, and subject to different capabilities and limitations. New sensors and techniques are constantly being developed.

To extract insight from remotely sensed data involves the techniques of retrieval (also known as: inversion, estimation) and image processing. In this course, students have the opportunity to use software to undertake simple retrieval and image processing, such as change detection, classification and some examples of digital filtering.

There are many applications of remote sensing in the domains of environmental science, policy and treaty verification, military applications, meteorology, oceanography, agriculture and ecology. In this course, an overview of applications and techniques is provided.

Any serious use of remotely sensed observations requires the user to be familiar with this wide range of knowledge, in order to select appropriate observations and use them with understanding.

This course will consist of 10 four-hours combined lecture/tutorial/practical sessions. The typical format will be 1 hour lecture session followed by a 1 1/2 hour lecturer and demonstrator led tutorial and followed by 1 1/2 hour student led practical; however this is not a strict structure and it will vary. The theory and information provided in the lectures will be reinforced by the tutorials and applied by the students in the practicals. There will be mocked assessment during some practicals that students can use as formative feedback. The feedback can then be used to improve the components and these contribute to the final assessed assignment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 15, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 15, Summative Assessment Hours 100, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 56 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (40%) - short essay

Exam (60%) - during Semester 1 December Exam Diet
Feedback The following are your opportunities to obtain feedback on your learning from us during this course:

Questions and answers in lectures. Questions are encouraged during lectures, and give you an opportunity to check your understanding, and obtained more information in areas of interest to you.

Assessed practical will be running from week 1 to week 11 and will be due in week 11. Feedback will be given on an ongoing basis during class. Any further questions may be directed to NG (e.g., after lectures).

From individual written comments on assessed practicals and examinations scripts.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate detailed, integrated knowledge of the application and history of remote sensing
  2. Discuss the nature of electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with the earth's surface and atmosphere
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the differences between remote sensing systems and be aware of their characteristics and limitations
  4. Competently interpret, process and evaluate remotely sensed images and be able to use remote sensing to achieve self-defined goals
  5. Apply knowledge of image processing principles strategically to new problems
Reading List
Recommended Reading List:

- Lillesand, T. M. and Kiefer, R. W. (2004). Remote sensing and image interpretation. Fifth Edition. Wiley, 736pp.
- Campbell, J.B. (2002). Introduction to remote sensing. (3rd edition). Taylor and Francis (or Guildford), London. 622pp.
- Jensen, J.R. (2007). Remote sensing of the Environment: An earth resource perspective. Second Edition, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey. 544 pp.
- Rees, W. G., (2001) Physical principles of remote sensing 2nd ed, CUP.
- Robinson I S (2005) Measuring Oceans from Space, Praxis.
- Mather, P.M. (2004). Computer processing of remotely-sensed images: an introduction. Third Edition. Wiley and Sons, Chichester. 292pp.
- Jensen, J.R. (2005). Introductory digital image processing: A remote sensing approach. Third Edition. Prentice-Hall.
- Liu J G and Mason P J, Essential image processing and GIS for remote sensing, Wiley- Blackwell, 2009, isbn: 978-0-470-510131-5
- Asrar, G. (ed.) (1989). Theory and applications of optical remote sensing. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 734pp.
- Avery, T.E., Berlin, G.L. (1992). Fundamentals of remote sensing and airphoto interpretation (5th edition). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
- Barrett, E.C. and Curtis, L.F. (1992). Introduction to environmental remote sensing (3rd edition). Chapman and Hall, London. 426pp.
- Buiten, H.J., Clevers, J.G.P.W. (1993). Land observation by remote sensing: theory and applications. Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, Yverdon, Switzerland.
- Bukata, R.P., Jerome, J.H., and Podzniakov, O. (1995). Optical properties and remote sensing of inland and coastal waters. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
- Colwell, R.N. (1983) Manual of remote sensing, Vol. 1: Theory, instruments and techniques; Vol. 2: Interpretations and applications. CRC Press.
- Cracknell, A.P. (1996). The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. Taylor and Francis, London.
- Cracknell, A.P., Hayes, L.W.B. Introduction to remote sensing. Taylor and Francis, London. 291pp.
- Curran, P.J. (1985). Principles of remote sensing. Longman.
Danson, F.M., Plummer, S.E. (eds.) Advances in environmental remote sensing. John Wiley, Chichester.
- Drury, S.A. (1998). Images of the Earth : Guide To Remote Sensing. IRL P.
- Drury, S.A. (1990). A guide to remote sensing: Interpreting images of the earth. Oxford Scientific Publications. 199pp.
- Drury, S.A. (1987). Image interpretation in geology. Allen and Unwin. London.
- Foody, G., Curran, P. (1994). Environmental remote sensing from regional to global scales. John Wiley, Chichester. 238 pp.
- Gibson, P. J. and Power, C. H. (2000) Introductory remote sensing principles and concepts. Routledge, London.
- Gibson, P. J. and Power, C. H. (2000) Introductory remote sensing: Digital image processing and applications. Routledge, London. 249 pp.
- Kramer, H.J. (1996). Observation of the earth and its environment: Survey of missions and sensors (3rd edition). Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
- Kondratyev, K.Ya., Buznikov, A.A., Podrovsky, O.M. (1996). Global change and remote sensing. Wiley-Praxis, Chichester. 370pp.
- Legg, C.A. (1994). Remote sensing and geographic information systems: Geological mapping, mineral exploration and mining. Wiley-Praxis, Chichester. 166pp.
- Lo, C.P. (1986). Applied remote sensing. Longman.
- Pazner, M., Thies, N., Chavez, R. (1994). Simple computer imaging and mapping. Think Space Inc.
- Rees, W.G. (2001). Physical principles of remote sensing. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press, 247pp.
- Rencz, A. (1999). Manual of remote sensing: Vol. 3 Remote sensing for the earth sciences. Wiley. 700 pp.
- Richards, J. A. (1993) Remote sensing digital image analysis : an introduction (2nd edition) Springer- Verlag, Berlin.
- Robinson, I.S. (1994). Satellite oceanography: An introduction for oceanographers and remote sensing scientists. Wiley-Praxis, Chichester. 455pp.
- Sabins, F.F. (1998). Remote sensing : principles and interpretation (3rd edition). Freeman, New York.
- Schowengerdt, R.A. (1997). Remote sensing: models and methods for image processing. Academic Press.
- Slater, P. (1980). Remote Sensing: optics and optical systems. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts.
- Verbyla, D.L. (1995). Satellite remote sensing of natural resources. Boca Raton. London
- Victorov, S. (1996). Regional satellite oceanography. Taylor and Francis, London. 306pp.
Williams, J. (1995). Geographic information from space. Wiley-Praxis, Chichester. 210pp.

*International Journal of Remote Sensing (Some volumes [1984 - mostly present] in Drummond Library,
Complete set in James Clark Maxwell Library, King Buildings)
Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing (Main Library, George Square)
*Remote Sensing of Environment (Main Library, George Square)
*IEEE Transactions in Geosciences and Remote Sensing (Robertson Library and Heriot-Watt University)
*ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (Drummond Library)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Allow students to engage with a range of theoretical ideas and practical techniques in remote sensing

Have an understanding of some of the recent forefront developments

Enable students to interpret a variety of source material and be able to make professional-standard judgements where data are limited or comes from a range of sources;

Provide training in critical analysis and in written presentation so students are able to critically identify and analyse complex problems to a professional standard
KeywordsRemote Sensing
Course organiserDr Noel Gourmelen
Tel: (0131 6)50 2662
Course secretaryMrs Katherine Ingram
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