Title Remote Sensing for Earth Sciences
Description Lecture, three hours. Designed for juniors/seniors and graduate students. Remote sensing related to development of natural resources. Characteristics of electromagnetic spectrum and review of remote sensing devices. Applicability to land-use classification, soil survey, urban studies, vegetation classification; emphasis on geologic interpretation of imagery. P/NP or letter grading.
Units 4 units
Course Days Monday
Time 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location GEOLOGY 3645
Level Undergraduate
Course ID 178600200
Type Lecture
Class Website http://pangea.earthandspace.ucla.edu/ESS150
Instructor Gilles Peltzer
Email peltzer@epss.ucla.edu
Phone 310-206-2156
Office Hours Monday, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. or by appt.
Location 4648 Geology


Additional Lecture Times

Lecture 1: Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Room B703 Lecture 2: Wednesday, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Room B703

Detailed Course Description

This course serves as an introduction to remote sensing of the Earth with emphasis on geology. The course will introduce various instruments used to measure the Earth surface characteristics, describe the remote sensing data and their analysis. We will start with an overview of the basic concepts of remote sensing and digital image manipulation and analysis. Then we will introduce the properties of electromagnetic waves and describe the way they interact with solid surfaces in the visible, near-infrared, thermal infrared, and micro-wave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The last part of the course will cover the basics of radar imaging and an introduction to SAR interferometry. Hands-on experimentation with satellite images will familiarize students with digital images manipulation, including image enhancement, filtering, and registration to a geographic system. Digital topography data will be used for 3-D surface analysis. We will explore various regions of the world providing experience with terrain type identification and classification, tectonic structures recognition and mapping.

Course Structure

The course will meet twice a week: Lectures will be on Mondays in room 3645 of the Geology building and interactive lab sessions will take place on Wednesdays in our department computer laboratory located in room B703. Each week the lab assignment will be started during the lab hours on Wednesdays, completed as a weekly homework and returned on the following Wednesday.


1/3 Labs & homework assignments
1/3 Mid-term Exam
1/3 Final Exam


Basic knowledge in electromagnetics (Physics 1B or equivalent) is recommended. Lab exercises are run on PC-Linux computers and some familiarity with computer environments is expected.


Floyd Sabins, Remote Sensing (3rd Ed.), WAVELAND Publ.


1st week: 9/26 Introduction - Basic concepts of remote sensing - image characteristics - vision - common remote sensing systems

2nd week: 10/03 Instruments: scanning systems - multispectral, hyperspectral systems - classification methods.

3rd week: 10/10 Digital image processing: Structure of digital images - image restoration, correction, enhancement - map projections

4th week: 10/17 Electromagnetic waves: Equations, polarization, coherency, Doppler effect, Definition of radiation quantities. Interaction of EM waves with matter (overview)

5th week: 10/24 Solid surface sensing in the visible and near infrared - reflection - scattering - vibrational processes - geologic materials - biologic materials - spectral and radiometric signatures

6th week: 10/31 Thermal infrared: Heat - temperature - thermal radiation - heat conduction - thermal properties of materials

11/02: Mid-term exam. During normal lab hours

7th week: 11/07: Thermal Infrared (TIR) spectral signatures of natural surfaces - TIR instruments.

8th week: 11/14 Interpretation of geologic structures - 3-D visualization of folds and faults - active faults

9th week: 11/21 Basics of radar imaging - SAR image geometry - range and azimuth resolution - polarimetric signatures - examples from the SIR-C mission.

10th week: 11/28 Introduction to SAR interferometry - principles - topographic map generation - surface change map generation - examples of application

11th week: 12/5 Exam week. Course Code 30.

Final proposed schedule: Lec1: W 12/7 8 a.m.-11 a.m., Lec2: W 12/7 12 p.m.-3 p.m..