Learning Module: Thermal Remote Sensing


Thermal remote sensing is based in the infrared portion of the spectrum and measures emitted thermal energy. Thermal remote sensing is a type of passive remote sensing since it detects naturally emitted radiation. Most thermal remote sensing in conducted in the 3-5 μm and 8-14 μm wavelengths. This module reviews the basics of thermal radiation, emissivity and thermal imaging systems.

Learning Outcomes


Presentations and Content

Supplemental Activity

Explore Landsat 8 Thermal Imagery. Download and extract the files. Open all of the .dat files in ENVI. There are three Landsat files of Humboldt County acquired by Landsat 8 in October of 2015. The three files consist of a Landsat reflective image (Bands 1-7) and two thermal images. The first image was obtained during the day at the same time as the reflective image, the other image is a thermal image captured the following night. Compare the differences between the two thermal images. Use the Crosshairs or Cursor Value tools Cursorto examine the differences in temperatures of different land features. Also explorer how the temperatures change between daytime and nighttime. Note that the data values for the thermal images will be the radiant temperatures in Kelvin.

Work on Final Project

This week you should be working on the processing and analysis of the data for your final project.

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