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Remote sensing acquires and interprets small or large-scale data about the Earth from a distance. Using a wide range of spatial, spectral, temporal, and radiometric scales remote sensing is a large and diverse field for which this Handbook will be the key research reference. Illustrated throughout, an essential resource for the analysis of remotely sensed data, The SAGE Handbook of Remote Sensing provides researchers with a definitive statement of the core concepts and methodologies in the discipline.

Chapter 15: Radiometry and Reflectance: From Terminology Concepts to Measured Quantities

Radiometry and Reflectance: From Terminology Concepts to Measured Quantities
Radiometry and reflectance: From terminology concepts to measured quantities

radiometry, reflectance, terminology, reflectance measurements, reflectance quantities, albedo, reflectance factor, bidirectional reflectance, BRDF.


The remote sensing community devotes major efforts to calibrate sensors, improve measurement setups, and validate derived products to quantify and reduce measurement uncertainties. Given recent advances in instrument design, radiometric calibration, atmospheric correction, algorithm and product development, validation, and delivery, the lack of standardization of reflectance terminology and products has emerged as a source of considerable error.

Schaepman-Strub et al. (2006) highlighted the fact that the current use of reflectance terminology in scientific studies, applications, and publications often does not comply with physical standards. Biases introduced by using an inappropriate reflectance quantity can exceed minimum sensitivity levels ...

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