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Volume 12, February-1

Remote Sens., Volume 12, Issue 4 (February-2 2020) – 156 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A unique example of using fixed-wing UAVs to collect Antarctic environmental data in areas of King George Island. In recent years, significant changes such as extensive glacial retreat and alarming changes in the population dynamics of fauna and flora were observed in the maritime part of the West Antarctic Peninsula. Hence, there is an urgent need for a significant widening of the area under research. Applications of UAVs to collect data to study the impact of climate change on the cold region’s ecosystems are still challenging but developing quickly. The cover image was taken during the implementation of the Polish–Norwegian project entitled “MONICA—A Novel Approach to Monitoring the Impact of Climate Change on Antarctic Ecosystems” in 2014–2016 in South Shetlands Archipelago.View this paper.
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Article
Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances Characteristics during the 2018 Typhoon Maria from GPS Observations
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 746; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040746 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
Typhoons often occur and may cause huge loss of life and damage of infrastructures, but they are still difficult to precisely monitor and predict by traditional in-situ measurements. Nowadays, ionospheric disturbances at a large-scale following typhoons can be monitored using ground-based dual-frequency Global [...] Read more.
Typhoons often occur and may cause huge loss of life and damage of infrastructures, but they are still difficult to precisely monitor and predict by traditional in-situ measurements. Nowadays, ionospheric disturbances at a large-scale following typhoons can be monitored using ground-based dual-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) observations. In this paper the responses of ionospheric total electron content (TEC) to Typhoon Maria on 10 July 2018 are studied by using about 150 stations of the GPS network in Taiwan. The results show that two significant ionospheric disturbances on the southwest side of the typhoon eye were found between 10:00 and 12:00 UTC. This was the stage of severe typhoon and the ionospheric disturbances propagated at speeds of 118.09 and 186.17 m/s, respectively. Both traveling ionospheric disturbances reached up to 0.2 TECU and the amplitudes were slightly different. The change in the filtered TEC time series during the typhoon was further analyzed with the azimuth. It can be seen that the TEC disturbance anomalies were primarily concentrated in a range of between −0.2 and 0.2 TECU and mainly located at 135–300° in the azimuth, namely the southwest side of the typhoon eye. The corresponding frequency spectrum of the two TEC time series was about 1.6 mHz, which is consistent with the frequency of gravity waves. Therefore, the upward propagating gravity wave was the main cause of the traveling ionospheric disturbance during Typhoon Maria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Ionosphere Observation and Investigation)
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Article
Characteristics Analysis of Raw Multi-GNSS Measurement from Xiaomi Mi 8 and Positioning Performance Improvement with L5/E5 Frequency in an Urban Environment
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 744; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040744 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1433
Abstract
Achieving continuous and high-precision positioning services via smartphone under a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-degraded environment is urgently demanded by the mass market. In 2018, Xiaomi launched the world’s first dual-frequency GNSS smartphone, Xiaomi Mi 8. The newly added L5/E5 signals are more [...] Read more.
Achieving continuous and high-precision positioning services via smartphone under a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-degraded environment is urgently demanded by the mass market. In 2018, Xiaomi launched the world’s first dual-frequency GNSS smartphone, Xiaomi Mi 8. The newly added L5/E5 signals are more precise and less prone to distortions from multipath reflections. This paper discusses the characteristics of raw dual-frequency GNSS observations from Xiaomi Mi 8 in urban environments; they are characterized by high pseudorange noise and frequent signal interruption. The traditional dual-frequency ionosphere-free combination is not suitable for Xiaomi Mi 8 raw GNSS data processing, since the noise of the combined measurements is much larger than the influence of the ionospheric delay. Therefore, in order to reasonably utilize the high precision carrier phase observations, a time differenced positioning filter is presented in this paper to deliver continuous and smooth navigation results in urban environments. The filter first estimates the inter-epoch position variation (IEPV) with time differenced uncombined L1/E1 and L5/E5 carrier phase observations and constructs the state equation with IEPV to accurately describe the user’s movement. Secondly, the observation equations are formed with uncombined L1/E1 and L5/E5 pseudorange observations. Then, kinematic experiments in open-sky and GNSS-degraded environments are carried out, and the proposed filter is assessed in terms of the positioning accuracy and solution availability. The result in an open-sky environment shows that, assisted with L5/E5 observations, the root mean square (RMS) of the stand-alone horizontal and vertical positioning errors are about 1.22 m and 1.94 m, respectively, with a 97.8% navigation availability. Encouragingly, even in a GNSS-degraded environment, smooth navigation services with accuracies of 1.61 m and 2.16 m in the horizontal and vertical directions are obtained by using multi-GNSS and L5/E5 observations. Full article
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Article
Desert Roughness Retrieval Using CYGNSS GNSS-R Data
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 743; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040743 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to assess the potential use of data recorded by the Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R) Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) constellation to characterize desert surface roughness. The study is applied over the Sahara, the largest [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to assess the potential use of data recorded by the Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R) Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) constellation to characterize desert surface roughness. The study is applied over the Sahara, the largest non-polar desert in the world. This is based on a spatio-temporal analysis of variations in Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) data, expressed as changes in reflectivity (Γ). In general, the reflectivity of each type of land surface (reliefs, dunes, etc.) encountered at the studied site is found to have a high temporal stability. A grid of CYGNSS Γ measurements has been developed, at the relatively fine resolution of 0.03° × 0.03°, and the resulting map of average reflectivity, computed over a 2.5-year period, illustrates the potential of CYGNSS data for the characterization of the main types of desert land surface (dunes, reliefs, etc.). A discussion of the relationship between aerodynamic or geometric roughness and CYGNSS reflectivity is proposed. A high correlation is observed between these roughness parameters and reflectivity. The behaviors of the GNSS-R reflectivity and the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) backscattering coefficient are compared and found to be strongly correlated. An aerodynamic roughness (Z0) map of the Sahara is proposed, using four distinct classes of terrain roughness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GPS/GNSS for Earth Science and Applications)
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Retraction
Retraction: Zhu R. et al. Attention-Based Deep Feature Fusion for the Scene Classification of High-Resolution Remote Sensing Images. Remote Sensing. 2019, 11(17), 1996
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 742; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040742 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
We have been made aware that the innovative contributions, research method and the majority of the content of this article [...] Full article
Article
Detecting Burn Severity across Mediterranean Forest Types by Coupling Medium-Spatial Resolution Satellite Imagery and Field Data
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 741; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040741 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2240
Abstract
In Mediterranean countries, in the year 2017, extensive surfaces of forests were damaged by wildfires. In the Vesuvius National Park, multiple summer wildfires burned 88% of the Mediterranean forest. This unprecedented event in an environmentally vulnerable area suggests conducting spatial assessment of the [...] Read more.
In Mediterranean countries, in the year 2017, extensive surfaces of forests were damaged by wildfires. In the Vesuvius National Park, multiple summer wildfires burned 88% of the Mediterranean forest. This unprecedented event in an environmentally vulnerable area suggests conducting spatial assessment of the mixed-severity fire effects for identifying priority areas and support decision-making in post-fire restoration. The main objective of this study was to compare the ability of the delta Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) spectral index obtained from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2A satellites in retrieving burn severity levels. Burn severity levels experienced by the Mediterranean forest communities were defined by using two quali-quantitative field-based composite burn indices (FBIs), namely the Composite Burn Index (CBI), its geometrically modified version CBI (GeoCBI), and the dNBR derived from the two medium-resolution multispectral remote sensors. The accuracy of the burn severity map produced by using the dNBR thresholds developed by Key and Benson (2006) was first evaluated. We found very low agreement (0.15 < K < 0.21) between the burn severity class obtained from field-based indices (CBI and GeoCBI) and satellite-derived metrics (dNBR) from both Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2A. Therefore, the most appropriate dNBR thresholds were rebuilt by analyzing the relationships between two field-based (CBI and GeoCBI) and dNBR from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2A. By regressing alternatively FBIs and dNBRs, a slightly stronger relationship between GeoCBI and dNBR metrics obtained from the Sentinel-2A remote sensor (R2 = 0.69) was found. The regressed dNBR thresholds showed moderately high classification accuracy (K = 0.77, OA = 83%) for Sentinel-2A, suggesting the appropriateness of dNBR-Sentinel 2A in assessing mixed-severity Mediterranean wildfires. Our results suggest that there is no single set of dNBR thresholds that are appropriate for all burnt biomes, especially for the low levels of burn severity, as biotic factors could affect satellite observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Applications for Wildland Urban Interfaces (WUI) Fire)
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Article
Multi-Scale Context Aggregation for Semantic Segmentation of Remote Sensing Images
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 701; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040701 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2150
Abstract
The semantic segmentation of remote sensing images (RSIs) is important in a variety of applications. Conventional encoder-decoder-based convolutional neural networks (CNNs) use cascade pooling operations to aggregate the semantic information, which results in a loss of localization accuracy and in the preservation of [...] Read more.
The semantic segmentation of remote sensing images (RSIs) is important in a variety of applications. Conventional encoder-decoder-based convolutional neural networks (CNNs) use cascade pooling operations to aggregate the semantic information, which results in a loss of localization accuracy and in the preservation of spatial details. To overcome these limitations, we introduce the use of the high-resolution network (HRNet) to produce high-resolution features without the decoding stage. Moreover, we enhance the low-to-high features extracted from different branches separately to strengthen the embedding of scale-related contextual information. The low-resolution features contain more semantic information and have a small spatial size; thus, they are utilized to model the long-term spatial correlations. The high-resolution branches are enhanced by introducing an adaptive spatial pooling (ASP) module to aggregate more local contexts. By combining these context aggregation designs across different levels, the resulting architecture is capable of exploiting spatial context at both global and local levels. The experimental results obtained on two RSI datasets show that our approach significantly improves the accuracy with respect to the commonly used CNNs and achieves state-of-the-art performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Neural Networks for Remote Sensing Applications)
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Article
Performance of TRMM Product in Quantifying Frequency and Intensity of Precipitation during Daytime and Nighttime across China
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 740; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040740 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
The Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite is the first to be designed to measure precipitation, and its precipitation products have been assessed in a variety of ways. Data for its post-real-time level 2 product (3B42) performed well in terms of the precipitation [...] Read more.
The Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite is the first to be designed to measure precipitation, and its precipitation products have been assessed in a variety of ways. Data for its post-real-time level 2 product (3B42) performed well in terms of the precipitation amount at the monthly scale because they were corrected by a precipitation dataset that was gauged every month. However, the performance of this dataset in terms of precipitation frequency and intensity is still not ideal. To this end, TRMM 3B42 products were evaluated using precipitation data from 747 meteorological stations over mainland China in this study. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient (CC), relative bias (RB), and relative error (RE) were used to assess the capability of TRMM products in terms of estimating the frequency, intensity, and amount of precipitation for different categories of precipitation during nighttime and daytime in a multiscale analysis (including interannual variation, seasonal cycles, and spatial distribution). Our results showed the following: (1) The 3B42 products reproduced interannual trends of the frequency and amount of precipitation (except for trace precipitation) with an average correlation coefficient of 0.84. (2) 3B42 performed well at calculating the annual and monthly precipitation amount, but performed poorly for frequency and even worse for intensity. The biases in these two properties canceled out, however, which led to a better estimate of the amount. (3) 3B42 represented the distribution of the subdaily amount of precipitation over a majority of the regions in the east, but did not perform well on the Tibetan Plateau or in northwest China. The performance of 3B42, as detailed in this study, can serve as valuable guidance to data users and algorithm developers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
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Article
Facing Erosion Identification in Railway Lines Using Pixel-Wise Deep-Based Approaches
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 739; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040739 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Soil erosion is considered one of the most expensive natural hazards with a high impact on several infrastructure assets. Among them, railway lines are one of the most likely constructions for the appearance of erosion and, consequently, one of the most troublesome due [...] Read more.
Soil erosion is considered one of the most expensive natural hazards with a high impact on several infrastructure assets. Among them, railway lines are one of the most likely constructions for the appearance of erosion and, consequently, one of the most troublesome due to the maintenance costs, risks of derailments, and so on. Therefore, it is fundamental to identify and monitor erosion in railway lines to prevent major consequences. Currently, erosion identification is manually performed by humans using huge image sets, a time-consuming and slow task. Hence, automatic machine learning methods appear as an appealing alternative. A crucial step for automatic erosion identification is to create a good feature representation. Towards such objective, deep learning can learn data-driven features and classifiers. In this paper, we propose a novel deep learning-based framework capable of performing erosion identification in railway lines. Six techniques were evaluated and the best one, Dynamic Dilated ConvNet, was integrated into this framework that was then encapsulated into a new ArcGIS plugin to facilitate its use by non-programmer users. To analyze such techniques, we also propose a new dataset, composed of almost 2000 high-resolution images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Review
The Spatial and Spectral Resolution of ASTER Infrared Image Data: A Paradigm Shift in Volcanological Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 738; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040738 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2094
Abstract
During the past two decades, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on the Terra satellite has acquired nearly 320,000 scenes of the world’s volcanoes. This is ~10% of the data in the global ASTER archive. Many of these scenes [...] Read more.
During the past two decades, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on the Terra satellite has acquired nearly 320,000 scenes of the world’s volcanoes. This is ~10% of the data in the global ASTER archive. Many of these scenes captured volcanic activity at never before seen spatial and spectral scales, particularly in the thermal infrared (TIR) region. Despite this large archive of data, the temporal resolution of ASTER is simply not adequate to understand ongoing eruptions and assess the hazards to local populations in near real time. However, programs designed to integrate ASTER into a volcanic data sensor web have greatly improved the cadence of the data (in some cases, to as many as 3 scenes in 48 h). This frequency can inform our understanding of what is possible with future systems collecting similar data on the daily or hourly time scales. Here, we present the history of ASTER’s contributions to volcanology, highlighting unique aspects of the instrument and its data. The ASTER archive was mined to provide statistics including the number of observations with volcanic activity, its type, and the average cloud cover. These were noted for more than 2000 scenes over periods of 1, 5 and 20 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ASTER 20th Anniversary)
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Article
Geospatial Modeling of the Tombolo Phenomenon in Sopot using Integrated Geodetic and Hydrographic Measurement Methods
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 737; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040737 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1331
Abstract
A tombolo is a narrow belt connecting a mainland with an island lying near to the shore, formed as a result of sand and gravel being deposited by sea currents, most often created as a result of natural phenomena. However, it can also [...] Read more.
A tombolo is a narrow belt connecting a mainland with an island lying near to the shore, formed as a result of sand and gravel being deposited by sea currents, most often created as a result of natural phenomena. However, it can also be caused by human activity, as is the case with the Sopot pier—a town located on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in northern Poland (φ = 54°26’N, λ = 018°33’E). As a result, the seafloor rises constantly and the shoreline moves towards the sea. Moreover, there is the additional disturbing phenomenon consisting of the rising seafloor sand covering over the waterbody’s vegetation and threatening the city's spa character. Removal of the sand to another place has already been undertaken several times. There is a lack of precise geospatial data about the tombolo’s seafloor course, its size and spatial shape caused by only lowering the seafloor in random places, and the ongoing environmental degradation process. This article presents the results of extensive and integrated geodetic and hydrographic measurements, the purpose of which was to make a 3D model of the phenomena developing in Sopot. The measurements will help determine the size and speed of the geospatial changes. Most of the modern geodetic and hydrographic methods were used in the study of these phenomena. For the construction of the land part of geospatial model, the following were used: photos from the photogrammetric flight pass (unmanned aerial vehicle—UAV), laser scanning of the beach and piers, and satellite orthophotomaps for analysis of the coastline changes. In the sea part, bathymetric measurements were carried out with an unmanned surface vehicle (USV). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition Radar and Sonar Imaging and Processing)
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Letter
Influence of Spatial Resolution and Retrieval Frequency on Applicability of Satellite-Predicted PM2.5 in Northern China
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 736; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040736 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1013
Abstract
Satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) products have been widely used in estimating fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations near the surface at a regional scale, and perform well compared with ground measurements. However, the influence of limitations such as retrieval frequency and [...] Read more.
Satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) products have been widely used in estimating fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations near the surface at a regional scale, and perform well compared with ground measurements. However, the influence of limitations such as retrieval frequency and the spatial resolution of satellite AODs on the applicability of predicted PM2.5 values has been rarely considered. With three widely used MODIS AOD products, including Multi-Angle Implementation of Atmospheric Correction (MAIAC), Deep Blue (DB) and Dark Target (DT), here we evaluate the influence of their spatial resolution and sampling frequency by estimating daily PM2.5 concentrations in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region of northern China during 2017 utilizing a mixed effects model. The daily concentrations of PM2.5 derived from MAIAC, DB and DT AOD all have high correlations (R2: 0.78, 0.8, and 0.78) with the observed values, but the predicted annual PM2.5 exhibits a distinct spatial distribution. DT estimation obviously underestimates annual PM2.5 in polluted areas due to lower sampling of heavy pollution events. By contrast, the retrieval frequency (~40-60%) of MAIAC and DB AOD can represent well annual PM2.5 in nearly all 83 sites tested. However, MAIAC and DB-derived PM2.5 have a larger bias compared with observed values than DT, indicating that the large spatial variation of aerosol properties can exert an influence on the reliability of the statistical AOD-PM2.5 relationship. Also, there is notable difference between MAIAC and DB PM2.5 due to their different cloud screening methods. The MAIAC PM2.5 with high spatial resolution at 1 km can capture much finer hotpots than DB and DT at 10 km. Our results suggest that it is crucial to consider the applicability of satellite-predicted PM2.5 values derived from different aerosol products according to the specific requirements besides modeling the AOD-PM2.5 relationship. Full article
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Letter
Advancing Learning Assignments in Remote Sensing of the Environment Through Simulation Games
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 735; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040735 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1151
Abstract
Environmental remote sensing has faced increasing satellite data availability, advanced algorithms for thematic analysis, and novel concepts of ground truth. For that reason, contents and concepts of learning and teaching remote sensing are constantly evolving. This eventually leads to the intuition of methodologically [...] Read more.
Environmental remote sensing has faced increasing satellite data availability, advanced algorithms for thematic analysis, and novel concepts of ground truth. For that reason, contents and concepts of learning and teaching remote sensing are constantly evolving. This eventually leads to the intuition of methodologically linking academic learning assignments with case-related scopes of application. In order to render case-related learning possible, smart teaching and interactive learning contexts are appreciated and required for remote sensing. That is due to the fact that those contexts are considered promising to trigger and gradually foster students’ comprehensive interdisciplinary thinking. To this end, the following contribution introduces the case-related concept of applying simulation games as a promising didactic format in teaching/learning assignments of remote sensing. As to methodology, participating students have been invited to take on individual roles bound to technology-related profiles (e.g., satellite-mission planning, irrigation, etc.) Based on the scenario, stakeholder teams have been requested to elaborate, analyze and negotiate viable solutions for soil moisture monitoring in a defined context. Collaboration has been encouraged by providing the protected, specifically designed remoSSoil-incubator environment. This letter-type paper aims to introduce the simulation game technique in the context of remote sensing as a type of scholarly teaching; it evaluates learning outcomes by adopting certain techniques of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL); and it provides food for thought of replicating, adapting and enhancing simulation games as an innovative, disruptive next-generation learning environment in remote sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Teaching and Learning in Remote Sensing)
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Article
Development of an Image De-Noising Method in Preparation for the Surface Water and Ocean Topography Satellite Mission
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 734; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040734 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
In the near future, the Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will provide images of altimetric data at kilometric resolution. This unprecedented 2-dimensional data structure will allow the estimation of geostrophy-related quantities that are essential for studying the ocean surface dynamics and for [...] Read more.
In the near future, the Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will provide images of altimetric data at kilometric resolution. This unprecedented 2-dimensional data structure will allow the estimation of geostrophy-related quantities that are essential for studying the ocean surface dynamics and for data assimilation uses. To estimate these quantities, i.e., to compute spatial derivatives of the Sea Surface Height (SSH) measurements, the uncorrelated, small-scale noise and errors expected to affect the SWOT data must be smoothed out while minimizing the loss of relevant, physical SSH information. This paper introduces a new technique for de-noising the future SWOT SSH images. The de-noising model is formulated as a regularized least-square problem with a Tikhonov regularization based on the first-, second-, and third-order derivatives of SSH. The method is implemented and compared to other, convolution-based filtering methods with boxcar and Gaussian kernels. This is performed using a large set of pseudo-SWOT data generated in the western Mediterranean Sea from a 1/60 simulation and the SWOT simulator. Based on root mean square error and spectral diagnostics, our de-noising method shows a better performance than the convolution-based methods. We find the optimal parametrization to be when only the second-order SSH derivative is penalized. This de-noising reduces the spatial scale resolved by SWOT by a factor of 2, and at 10 km wavelengths, the noise level is reduced by factors of 10 4 and 10 3 for summer and winter, respectively. This is encouraging for the processing of the future SWOT data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calibration and Validation of Satellite Altimetry)
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Technical Note
An Atmospheric Correction Method over Bright and Stable Surfaces for Moderate to High Spatial-Resolution Optical Remotely Sensed Imagery
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 733; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040733 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
Although many attempts have been made, it has remained a challenge to retrieve the aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 nm from moderate to high spatial-resolution (MHSR) optical remotely sensed imagery in arid areas with bright surfaces, such as deserts and bare ground. [...] Read more.
Although many attempts have been made, it has remained a challenge to retrieve the aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 nm from moderate to high spatial-resolution (MHSR) optical remotely sensed imagery in arid areas with bright surfaces, such as deserts and bare ground. Atmospheric correction for remote-sensing images in these areas has not been good. In this paper, we proposed a new algorithm that can effectively estimate the spatial distribution of atmospheric aerosols and retrieve surface reflectance from moderate to high spatial-resolution imagery in arid areas with bright surfaces. Land surface in arid areas is usually bright and stable and the variation of atmosphere in these areas is also very small; consequently, the land-surface characteristics, specifically the bidirectional reflectance distribution factor (BRDF), can be retrieved easily and accurately using time series of satellite images with relatively lower spatial resolution like the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) with 500 m resolution and the retrieved BRDF is then used to retrieve the AOD from MHSR images. This algorithm has three advantages: (i) it is well suited to arid areas with bright surfaces; (ii) it is very efficient because of employed lower resolution BRDF; and (iii) it is completely automatic. The derived AODs from the Multispectral Instrument (MSI) on board Sentinel-2, Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), Gao Fen 1 Wide Field Viewer (GF-1/WFV), Gao Fen 6 Wide Field Viewer (GF-6/WFV), and Huan Jing 1 CCD (HJ-1/CCD) data are validated using ground measurements from 4 stations of the AErosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET) around the world. Full article
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Article
Robust Kalman Filtering Based on Chi-square Increment and Its Application
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 732; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040732 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1080
Abstract
In Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning, gross errors seriously limit the validity of Kalman filtering and make the final positioning solutions untrustworthy. Thus, the detection and correction of gross errors have become indispensable parts of Kalman filtering. Starting by defining an incremental [...] Read more.
In Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning, gross errors seriously limit the validity of Kalman filtering and make the final positioning solutions untrustworthy. Thus, the detection and correction of gross errors have become indispensable parts of Kalman filtering. Starting by defining an incremental Chi-square method of recursive least squares, this paper extends this definition to Kalman filtering to detect gross errors, explains its nature and its relation with the currently adopted Chi-square variables of Kalman filtering in model and data spaces, and compares them with the predictive residual statistics. Two robust Kalman filtering models based on an incremental Chi-square method (CI-RKF) were established, and the one with a better incremental Chi-square component was selected based on a static accuracy evaluation experiment. We applied the selected robust model to the GNSS positioning and the GNSS/inertial measurement unit (IMU) / visual odometry (VO) integrated navigation experiment in an occluded urban area at the East China Normal University. We compared the results for conventional Kalman filtering (CKF) with a robust Kalman filtering constructed using predictive residual statistics and an Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics (IGGШ) weight factor, abbreviated as “PRS-IGG-RKF”. The results show that the overall accuracy of CI-RKF in GNSS positioning was improved by 22.68%, 54.33%, and 72.45% in the static experiment, and 12.30%, 7.50%, and 16.15% in the kinematic experiment. The integrated navigation results indicate that the CI-RKF fusion method increased the system positioning accuracy by 66.73%, 59.59%, and 59.62% in one of the severe occlusion areas, and 42.04%, 59.04%, and 52.41% in the other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Remote Sensing)
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Article
Lunar Regolith Temperature Variation in the Rümker Region Based on the Real-Time Illumination
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 731; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040731 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Chang’E-5 will be China’s first sample−return mission. The proposed landing site is at the late-Eratosthenian-aged Rümker region of the lunar nearside. During this mission, a driller will be sunk into the lunar regolith to collect samples from depths up to two meters. This [...] Read more.
Chang’E-5 will be China’s first sample−return mission. The proposed landing site is at the late-Eratosthenian-aged Rümker region of the lunar nearside. During this mission, a driller will be sunk into the lunar regolith to collect samples from depths up to two meters. This mission provides an ideal opportunity to investigate the lunar regolith temperature variation, which is important to the drilling program. This study focuses on the temperature variation of lunar regolith, especially the subsurface temperature. Such temperature information is crucial to both the engineering needs of the drilling program and interpretation of future heat-flow measurements at the lunar landing site. Based on the real-time illumination, and particularly the terrain obscuration, a one-dimensional heat equation was applied to estimate the temperature variation over the whole landing region. Our results confirm that while solar illumination strongly affects the surface temperature, such effect becomes weak at increasing depths. The skin depth of diurnal temperature variations is restricted to the uppermost ~5 cm, and the temperature of regolith deeper than ~0.6 m is controlled by the interior heat flow. At such a depth, China’s future lunar exploration is adequate to measure the inner heat flow, considering the drilling depth will be close to 2 m. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lunar Remote Sensing and Applications)
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Article
Tunnel Monitoring and Measuring System Using Mobile Laser Scanning: Design and Deployment
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 730; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040730 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
The common statistical methods for rail tunnel deformation and disease detection usually require a large amount of equipment and manpower to achieve full section detection, which are time consuming and inefficient. The development trend in the industry is to use laser scanning for [...] Read more.
The common statistical methods for rail tunnel deformation and disease detection usually require a large amount of equipment and manpower to achieve full section detection, which are time consuming and inefficient. The development trend in the industry is to use laser scanning for full section detection. In this paper, a design scheme for a tunnel monitoring and measuring system with laser scanning as the main sensor for tunnel environmental disease and deformation analysis is proposed. The system provides functions such as tunnel point cloud collection, section deformation analysis, dislocation analysis, disease extraction, tunnel and track image generation, roaming video generation, etc. Field engineering indicated that the repeatability of the convergence diameter detection of the system can reach ±2 mm, dislocation repeatability can reach ±3 mm, the image resolution is about 0.5 mm/pixel in the ballast part, and the resolution of the inner wall of the tunnel is about 1.5 mm/pixel. The system can include human–computer interaction to extract and label diseases or appurtenances and support the generation of thematic disease maps. The developed system can provide important technical support for deformation and disease detection of rail transit tunnels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Scanning and Point Cloud Processing)
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Letter
A Fast Deep Perception Network for Remote Sensing Scene Classification
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 729; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040729 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Current scene classification for high-resolution remote sensing images usually uses deep convolutional neural networks (DCNN) to extract extensive features and adopts support vector machine (SVM) as classifier. DCNN can well exploit deep features but ignore valuable shallow features like texture and directional information; [...] Read more.
Current scene classification for high-resolution remote sensing images usually uses deep convolutional neural networks (DCNN) to extract extensive features and adopts support vector machine (SVM) as classifier. DCNN can well exploit deep features but ignore valuable shallow features like texture and directional information; and SVM can hardly train a large amount of samples in an efficient way. This paper proposes a fast deep perception network (FDPResnet) that integrates DCNN and Broad Learning System (BLS), a novel effective learning system, to extract both deep and shallow features and encapsulates a designed DPModel to fuse the two kinds of features. FDPResnet first extracts the shallow and the deep scene features of a remote sensing image through a pre-trained model on residual neural network-101 (Resnet101). Then, it inputs the two kinds of features into a designed deep perception module (DPModel) to obtain a new set of feature vectors that can describe both higher-level semantic and lower-level space information of the image. The DPModel is the key module responsible for dimension reduction and feature fusion. Finally, the obtained new feature vector is input into BLS for training and classification, and we can obtain a satisfactory classification result. A series of experiments are conducted on the challenging NWPU-RESISC45 remote sensing image dataset, and the results demonstrate that our approach outperforms some popular state-of-the-art deep learning methods, and present high-accurate scene classification within a shorter running time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Letter)
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Technical Note
Infrasound Observations of Atmospheric Disturbances Due to a Sequence of Explosive Eruptions at Mt. Shinmoedake in Japan on March 2018
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 728; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040728 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Thirty infrasound sensors have been operated over Japan since 2015. We developed the irregular array data processing in order to detect and estimate the parameters of the arrival source waves by using infrasound data related to the sequence of the volcanic eruption at [...] Read more.
Thirty infrasound sensors have been operated over Japan since 2015. We developed the irregular array data processing in order to detect and estimate the parameters of the arrival source waves by using infrasound data related to the sequence of the volcanic eruption at Mt. Shinmoedake in March 2018. We found that the apparent velocity at the ground was equal to the acoustic velocity at particular reflection levels. The results were confirmed through a comparison of the findings of the apparent velocity with a wave propagation simulation on the basis of the azimuth, infrasound time arrivals, and the state of the atmospheric background using global atmospheric models. In addition, simple ideas for estimating horizontal wind speeds at certain atmospheric altitudes based on infrasound observation data and their validation and comparison were presented. The calculated upper wind speed and wind observed by radiosonde measurements were found to have a qualitative agreement. Propagation modeling for these events estimated celerities in the propagation direction to the sensors that were consistent with the tropospheric and stratospheric ducting. This study could inspire writers, in particular, and readers, in general, to take advantage of the benefits of infrasound wave remote-sensing for the study of the Earth’s atmospheric dynamics. Full article
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Article
Use of SAR and Optical Time Series for Tropical Forest Disturbance Mapping
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 727; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040727 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1818
Abstract
Frequent cloud cover and fast regrowth often hamper topical forest disturbance monitoring with optical data. This study aims at overcoming these limitations by combining dense time series of optical (Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8) and SAR data (Sentinel-1) for forest disturbance mapping at test [...] Read more.
Frequent cloud cover and fast regrowth often hamper topical forest disturbance monitoring with optical data. This study aims at overcoming these limitations by combining dense time series of optical (Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8) and SAR data (Sentinel-1) for forest disturbance mapping at test sites in Peru and Gabon. We compare the accuracies of the individual disturbance maps from optical and SAR time series with the accuracies of the combined map. We further evaluate the detection accuracies by disturbance patch size and by an area-based sampling approach. The results show that the individual optical and SAR based forest disturbance detections are highly complementary, and their combination improves all accuracy measures. The overall accuracies increase by about 3% in both areas, producer accuracies of the disturbed forest class increase by up to 25% in Peru when compared to only using one sensor type. The assessment by disturbance patch size shows that the amount of detections of very small disturbances (< 0.2 ha) can almost be doubled by using both data sets: for Gabon 30% as compared to 15.7–17.5%, for Peru 80% as compared to 48.6–65.7%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Canopy Disturbance Detection Using Satellite Remote Sensing)
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Article
Extraction of Yardang Characteristics Using Object-Based Image Analysis and Canny Edge Detection Methods
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 726; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040726 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
Parameters of geomorphological characteristics are critical for research on yardangs. However, methods which are low-cost, accurate, and automatic or semi-automatic for extracting these parameters are limited. We present here semi-automatic techniques for this purpose. They are object-based image analysis (OBIA) and Canny edge [...] Read more.
Parameters of geomorphological characteristics are critical for research on yardangs. However, methods which are low-cost, accurate, and automatic or semi-automatic for extracting these parameters are limited. We present here semi-automatic techniques for this purpose. They are object-based image analysis (OBIA) and Canny edge detection (CED), using free, very high spatial resolution images from Google Earth. We chose yardang fields in Dunhuang of west China to test the methods. Our results showed that the extractions registered an overall accuracy of 92.26% with a Kappa coefficient of agreement of 0.82 at a segmentation scale of 52 using the OBIA method, and the exaction of yardangs had the highest accuracy at medium segmentation scales (138, 145). Using CED, we resampled the experimental image subset to a series of lower spatial resolutions for eliminating noise. The total length of yardang boundaries showed a logarithmically decreasing (R2 = 0.904) trend with decreasing spatial resolution, and there was also a linear relationship between yardang median widths and spatial resolutions (R2 = 0.95). Despite the difficulty of identifying shadows, the CED method achieved an overall accuracy of 89.23% with a kappa coefficient of agreement of 0.72, similar to that of the OBIA method at medium segmentation scale (138). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Dryland Environment)
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Article
Characterizing Land Surface Phenology and Exotic Annual Grasses in Dryland Ecosystems Using Landsat and Sentinel-2 Data in Harmony
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 725; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040725 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2085
Abstract
Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), have proliferated in dryland ecosystems of the western United States, promoting increased fire activity and reduced biodiversity that can be detrimental to socio-environmental systems. Monitoring exotic annual grass cover and dynamics over large areas [...] Read more.
Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), have proliferated in dryland ecosystems of the western United States, promoting increased fire activity and reduced biodiversity that can be detrimental to socio-environmental systems. Monitoring exotic annual grass cover and dynamics over large areas requires the use of remote sensing that can support early detection and rapid response initiatives. However, few studies have leveraged remote sensing technologies and computing frameworks capable of providing rangeland managers with maps of exotic annual grass cover at relatively high spatiotemporal resolutions and near real-time latencies. Here, we developed a system for automated mapping of invasive annual grass (%) cover using in situ observations, harmonized Landsat and Sentinel-2 (HLS) data, maps of biophysical variables, and machine learning techniques. A robust and automated cloud, cloud shadow, water, and snow/ice masking procedure (mean overall accuracy >81%) was implemented using time-series outlier detection and data mining techniques prior to spatiotemporal interpolation of HLS data via regression tree models (r = 0.94; mean absolute error (MAE) = 0.02). Weekly, cloud-free normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) image composites (2016–2018) were used to construct a suite of spectral and phenological metrics (e.g., start and end of season dates), consistent with information derived from Moderate Resolution Image Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. These metrics were incorporated into a data mining framework that accurately (r = 0.83; MAE = 11) modeled and mapped exotic annual grass (%) cover throughout dryland ecosystems in the western United States at a native, 30-m spatial resolution. Our results show that inclusion of weekly HLS time-series data and derived indicators improves our ability to map exotic annual grass cover, as compared to distribution models that use MODIS products or monthly, seasonal, or annual HLS composites as primary inputs. This research fills a critical gap in our ability to effectively assess, manage, and monitor drylands by providing a framework that allows for an accurate and timely depiction of land surface phenology and exotic annual grass cover at spatial and temporal resolutions that are meaningful to local resource managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Dryland Environment)
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Article
Real-time Reconstruction of Surface Velocities from Satellite Observations in the Alboran Sea
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 724; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040724 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
Surface currents in the Alboran Sea are characterized by a very fast evolution that is not well captured by altimetric maps due to sampling limitations. On the contrary, satellite infrared measurements provide high resolution synoptic images of the ocean at high temporal rate, [...] Read more.
Surface currents in the Alboran Sea are characterized by a very fast evolution that is not well captured by altimetric maps due to sampling limitations. On the contrary, satellite infrared measurements provide high resolution synoptic images of the ocean at high temporal rate, allowing to capture the evolution of the flow. The capability of Surface Quasi-Geostrophic (SQG) dynamics to retrieve surface currents from thermal images was evaluated by comparing resulting velocities with in situ observations provided by surface drifters. A difficulty encountered comes from the lack of information about ocean salinity. We propose to exploit the strong relationship between salinity and temperature to identify water masses with distinctive salinity in satellite images and use this information to correct buoyancy. Once corrected, our results show that the SQG approach can retrieve ocean currents slightly better to that of near-real-time currents derived from altimetry in general, but much better in areas badly sampled by altimeters such as the area to the east of the Strait of Gibraltar. Although this area is far from the geostrophic equilibrium, the results show that the good sampling of infrared radiometers allows at least retrieving the direction of ocean currents in this area. The proposed approach can be used in other areas of the ocean for which water masses with distinctive salinity can be identified from satellite observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center)
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Article
A New Low-Cost Device Based on Thermal Infrared Sensors for Olive Tree Canopy Temperature Measurement and Water Status Monitoring
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 723; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040723 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1326
Abstract
In recent years, many olive orchards, which are a major crop in the Mediterranean basin, have been converted into intensive or super high-density hedgerow systems. This configuration is more efficient in terms of yield per hectare, but at the same time the water [...] Read more.
In recent years, many olive orchards, which are a major crop in the Mediterranean basin, have been converted into intensive or super high-density hedgerow systems. This configuration is more efficient in terms of yield per hectare, but at the same time the water requirements are higher than in traditional grove arrangements. Moreover, irrigation regulations have a high environmental (through water use optimization) impact and influence on crop quality and yield. The mapping of (spatio-temporal) variability with conventional water stress assessment methods is impractical due to time and labor constraints, which often involve staff training. To address this problem, this work presents the development of a new low-cost device based on a thermal infrared (IR) sensor for the measurement of olive tree canopy temperature and monitoring of water status. The performance of the developed device was compared to a commercial thermal camera. Furthermore, the proposed device was evaluated in a commercially managed olive orchard, where two different irrigation treatments were established: a full irrigation treatment (FI) and a regulated deficit irrigation (RDC), aimed at covering 100% and 50% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), respectively. Predawn leaf water potential (ΨPD) and stomatal conductance (gs), two widely accepted indicators for crop water status, were regressed to the measured canopy temperature. The results were promising, reaching a coefficient of determination R2 ≥ 0.80. On the other hand, the crop water stress index (CWSI) was also calculated, resulting in a coefficient of determination R2 ≥ 0.79. The outcomes provided by the developed device support its suitability for fast, low-cost, and reliable estimation of an olive orchard’s water status, even suppressing the need for supervised acquisition of reference temperatures. The newly developed device can be used for water management, reducing water usage, and for overall improvements to olive orchard management. Full article
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Letter
Evaluation of SPL100 Single Photon Lidar Data
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 722; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040722 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
Geiger-mode and single photon lidar sensors have recently emerged on the commercial market, advertising greater collection efficiency than the traditional linear mode lidar (LML) systems. Non-linear photon detection is a new technology for the geospatial community, and its performance characteristics for surveying and [...] Read more.
Geiger-mode and single photon lidar sensors have recently emerged on the commercial market, advertising greater collection efficiency than the traditional linear mode lidar (LML) systems. Non-linear photon detection is a new technology for the geospatial community, and its performance characteristics for surveying and mapping are not yet well understood. Therefore, the geospatial quality of the data produced by one of these new sensors, the Leica SPL100, is examined by comparing the achieved lidar point cloud accuracy, precision, digital elevation model (DEM) generation, canopy penetration, and multiple return generation to a LML point cloud. We find the SPL100 has a lower ranging precision than linear mode lidar and that the precision is more negatively affected by surface properties such as low intensity and high incidence angle. The accuracy of the SPL100 point cloud, however, was found to be comparable to LML for smooth horizontal surfaces. A 1 m resolution SPL100 DEM was also comparable to a corresponding LML DEM, but the SPL100 was observed to have a reduced ability to resolve multiple returns through vegetation when compared to a LML sensor. In its current state, the SPL100 is likely best suited for applications in which the need for collection efficiency outweighs the need for maximum precision and canopy penetration and modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Letter)
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Article
Development of Global Tropospheric Empirical Correction Model with High Temporal Resolution
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 721; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040721 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The accuracy of global tropospheric empirical models depends on the model expression and the modeling data sources. Although the current temporal resolution of available models is usually one day, it is anticipated that this will be improved in the future. To achieve compatibility [...] Read more.
The accuracy of global tropospheric empirical models depends on the model expression and the modeling data sources. Although the current temporal resolution of available models is usually one day, it is anticipated that this will be improved in the future. To achieve compatibility with future high temporal-resolution data sources, this study develops a new global tropospheric correction model, the Wuhan-University Global Tropospheric Empirical Model (WGTEM). Evaluation of WGTEM model expression determines that it has better precision than other models, and this is attributed to its ability to consider diurnal variations in meteorological parameters and the double-peak daily variation in air pressure, which are not concerned in other models. The external accuracy of the WGTEM was evaluated after modeling with the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA-Interim products, and results show its accuracy exceeds that of the current ITG model and its Zenith Tropospheric Delay (ZTD) performance is also superior. Full article
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Technical Note
The Current Configuration of the OSTIA System for Operational Production of Foundation Sea Surface Temperature and Ice Concentration Analyses
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 720; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040720 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
The Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) system generates global, daily, gap-filled foundation sea surface temperature (SST) fields from satellite data and in situ observations. The SSTs have uncertainty information provided with them and an ice concentration (IC) analysis is [...] Read more.
The Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) system generates global, daily, gap-filled foundation sea surface temperature (SST) fields from satellite data and in situ observations. The SSTs have uncertainty information provided with them and an ice concentration (IC) analysis is also produced. Additionally, a global, hourly diurnal skin SST product is output each day. The system is run in near real time to produce data for use in applications such as numerical weather prediction. Data production is monitored routinely and outputs are available from the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS; marine.copernicus.eu). As an operational product, the OSTIA system is continuously under development. For example, since the original descriptor paper was published, the underlying data assimilation scheme that is used to generate the foundation SST analyses has been updated. Various publications have described these changes but a full description is not available in a single place. This technical note focuses on the production of the foundation SST and IC analyses by OSTIA and aims to provide a comprehensive description of the current system configuration. Full article
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Article
Big Data Geospatial Processing for Massive Aerial LiDAR Datasets
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 719; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040719 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
For years, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology has been considered as a challenge when it comes to developing efficient software to handle the extremely large volumes of data this surveying method is able to collect. In contexts such as this, big data [...] Read more.
For years, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology has been considered as a challenge when it comes to developing efficient software to handle the extremely large volumes of data this surveying method is able to collect. In contexts such as this, big data technologies have been providing powerful solutions for distributed storage and computing. In this work, a big data approach on geospatial processing for massive aerial LiDAR point clouds is presented. By using Cassandra and Spark, our proposal is intended to support the execution of any kind of heavy time-consuming process; nonetheless, as an initial case of study, we have focused on fast ground-only rasters obtention to generate digital terrain models (DTMs) from massive LiDAR datasets. Filtered clouds obtained from the isolated processing of adjacent zones may exhibit errors located on the boundaries of the zones in the form of misclassified points. Usually, this type of error is corrected through manual or semi-automatic procedures. In this work, we also present an automated strategy for correcting errors of this type, improving the quality of the classification process and the DTMs obtained while minimizing user intervention. The autonomous nature of all computing stages, along with the low processing times achieved, opens the possibility of considering the system as a highly scalable service-oriented solution for on-demand DTM generation or any other geospatial process. Said solution would be a highly useful and unique service for many users in the LiDAR field, and one which could get near to real-time processing with appropriate computational resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Computing of Remotely-Sensed Data)
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Article
Evidence of Carbon Uptake Associated with Vegetation Greening Trends in Eastern China
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 718; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040718 - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Persistent and widespread increase of vegetation cover, identified as greening, has been observed in areas of the planet over late 20th century and early 21st century by satellite-derived vegetation indices. It is difficult to verify whether these regions are net carbon sinks or [...] Read more.
Persistent and widespread increase of vegetation cover, identified as greening, has been observed in areas of the planet over late 20th century and early 21st century by satellite-derived vegetation indices. It is difficult to verify whether these regions are net carbon sinks or sources by studying vegetation indices alone. In this study, we investigate greening trends in Eastern China (EC) and corresponding trends in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We used multiple vegetation indices including NDVI and EVI to characterize changes in vegetation activity over EC from 2003 to 2016. Gap-filled time series of column-averaged CO2 dry air mole fraction (XCO2) from January 2003 to May 2016, based on observations from SCIAMACHY, GOSAT, and OCO-2 satellites, were used to calculate XCO2 changes during growing season for 13 years. We derived a relationship between XCO2 and surface net CO2 fluxes from two inversion model simulations, CarbonTracker and Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate (MACC), and used those relationships to estimate the biospheric CO2 flux enhancement based on satellite observed XCO2 changes. We observed significant growing period (GP) greening trends in NDVI and EVI related to cropland intensification and forest growth in the region. After removing the influence of large urban center CO2 emissions, we estimated an enhanced XCO2 drawdown during the GP of −0.070 to −0.084 ppm yr−1. Increased carbon uptake during the GP was estimated to be 28.41 to 46.04 Tg C, mainly from land management, which could offset about 2–3% of EC’s annual fossil fuel emissions. These results show the potential of using multi-satellite observed XCO2 to estimate carbon fluxes from the regional biosphere, which could be used to verify natural sinks included as national contributions of greenhouse gas emissions reduction in international climate change agreements like the UNFCC Paris Accord. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biogeosciences Remote Sensing)
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Article
Ballistic Ground Penetrating Radar Equipment for Blast-Exposed Security Applications
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 717; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12040717 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Among all the forensic applications in which it has become an important exploration tool, ground penetrating radar (GPR) methodology is being increasingly adopted for buried landmine localisation, a framework in which it is expected to improve the operations efficiency, given the high resolution [...] Read more.
Among all the forensic applications in which it has become an important exploration tool, ground penetrating radar (GPR) methodology is being increasingly adopted for buried landmine localisation, a framework in which it is expected to improve the operations efficiency, given the high resolution imaging capability and the possibility of detecting both metallic and non-metallic landmines. In this context, this study presents landmine detection equipment based on multi-polarisation: a ground coupled GPR platform, which ensures suitable penetration/resolution performance without affecting the safety of surveys, thanks to the inclusion of a flexible ballistic shielding for supporting eventual blasts. The experimental results have shown that not only can the blanket absorb blast-induced flying fragments impacts, but that it also allows for the acquisition of data with the accuracy required to generate a correct 3D reconstruction of the subsurface. The produced GPR volume is then processed through an automated learning scheme based on a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) capable of detecting buried objects with a high degree of accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Ground Penetrating Radar Theory and Applications)
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