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Remote Sens., Volume 13, Issue 1 (January-1 2021) – 158 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The use of a common geophysical retrieval algorithm (radiative models, ancillary datasets, inversion methodology) is a necessary starting point for achieving climate data record continuity across multiple sensors. Providing cloud product continuity across MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS observations is inherently challenging due to instrument differences, most notably the lack of common spectral coverage. To help mitigate these differences, a common cloud algorithm (CLDPROP) was developed by NASA for both MODIS and VIIRS observations by utilizing only a subset of spectral channels available on both imagers. These CLDPROP VIIRS and MODIS products were publicly released in 2019 covering the 2012-present time period. An evaluation of these products has identified remaining dataset discontinuities that will inform future algorithm development. View this paper
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Article
Identification and Evaluation of Urban Construction Waste with VHR Remote Sensing Using Multi-Feature Analysis and a Hierarchical Segmentation Method
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 158; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010158 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
With rapid urbanization, the disposal and management of urban construction waste have become the main concerns of urban management. The distribution of urban construction waste is characterized by its wide range, irregularity, and ease of confusion with the surrounding ground objects, such as [...] Read more.
With rapid urbanization, the disposal and management of urban construction waste have become the main concerns of urban management. The distribution of urban construction waste is characterized by its wide range, irregularity, and ease of confusion with the surrounding ground objects, such as bare soil, buildings, and vegetation. Therefore, it is difficult to extract and identify information related to urban construction waste by using the traditional single spectral feature analysis method due to the problem of spectral confusion between construction waste and the surrounding ground objects, especially in the context of very-high-resolution (VHR) remote sensing images. Considering the multi-feature analysis method for VHR remote sensing images, we propose an optimal method that combines morphological indexing and hierarchical segmentation to extract the information on urban construction waste in VHR images. By comparing the differences between construction waste and the surrounding ground objects in terms of the spectrum, geometry, texture, and other features, we selected an optimal feature subset to improve the separability of the construction waste and other objects; then, we established a classification model of knowledge rules to achieve the rapid and accurate extraction of construction waste information. We also chose two experimental areas of Beijing to validate our algorithm. By using construction waste separability quality evaluation indexes, the identification accuracy of construction waste in the two study areas was determined to be 96.6% and 96.2%, the separability indexes of the construction waste and buildings reached 1.000, and the separability indexes of the construction waste and vegetation reached 1.000 and 0.818. The experimental results show that our method can accurately identify the exposed construction waste and construction waste covered with a dust screen, and it can effectively solve the problem of spectral confusion between the construction waste and the bare soil, buildings, and vegetation. Full article
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Article
Deep Learning Based Thin Cloud Removal Fusing Vegetation Red Edge and Short Wave Infrared Spectral Information for Sentinel-2A Imagery
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 157; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010157 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1835
Abstract
Thin clouds seriously affect the availability of optical remote sensing images, especially in visible bands. Short-wave infrared (SWIR) bands are less influenced by thin clouds, but usually have lower spatial resolution than visible (Vis) bands in high spatial resolution remote sensing images (e.g., [...] Read more.
Thin clouds seriously affect the availability of optical remote sensing images, especially in visible bands. Short-wave infrared (SWIR) bands are less influenced by thin clouds, but usually have lower spatial resolution than visible (Vis) bands in high spatial resolution remote sensing images (e.g., in Sentinel-2A/B, CBERS04, ZY-1 02D and HJ-1B satellites). Most cloud removal methods do not take advantage of the spectral information available in SWIR bands, which are less affected by clouds, to restore the background information tainted by thin clouds in Vis bands. In this paper, we propose CR-MSS, a novel deep learning-based thin cloud removal method that takes the SWIR and vegetation red edge (VRE) bands as inputs in addition to visible/near infrared (Vis/NIR) bands, in order to improve cloud removal in Sentinel-2 visible bands. Contrary to some traditional and deep learning-based cloud removal methods, which use manually designed rescaling algorithm to handle bands at different resolutions, CR-MSS uses convolutional layers to automatically process bands at different resolution. CR-MSS has two input/output branches that are designed to process Vis/NIR and VRE/SWIR, respectively. Firstly, Vis/NIR cloudy bands are down-sampled by a convolutional layer to low spatial resolution features, which are then concatenated with the corresponding features extracted from VRE/SWIR bands. Secondly, the concatenated features are put into a fusion tunnel to down-sample and fuse the spectral information from Vis/NIR and VRE/SWIR bands. Third, a decomposition tunnel is designed to up-sample and decompose the fused features. Finally, a transpose convolutional layer is used to up-sample the feature maps to the resolution of input Vis/NIR bands. CR-MSS was trained on 28 real Sentinel-2A image pairs over the globe, and tested separately on eight real cloud image pairs and eight simulated cloud image pairs. The average SSIM values (Structural Similarity Index Measurement) for CR-MSS results on Vis/NIR bands over all testing images were 0.69, 0.71, 0.77, and 0.81, respectively, which was on average 1.74% higher than the best baseline method. The visual results on real Sentinel-2 images demonstrate that CR-MSS can produce more realistic cloud and cloud shadow removal results than baseline methods. Full article
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Technical Note
Assessing the Behavioural Responses of Small Cetaceans to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 156; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010156 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3293
Abstract
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have recently emerged as a relatively affordable and accessible method for studying wildlife. Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) UAVs are appropriate for morphometric, behavioural, abundance and demographic studies of marine mammals, providing a stable, nonintrusive and highly [...] Read more.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have recently emerged as a relatively affordable and accessible method for studying wildlife. Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) UAVs are appropriate for morphometric, behavioural, abundance and demographic studies of marine mammals, providing a stable, nonintrusive and highly manoeuvrable platform. Previous studies using VTOL UAVs have been conducted on various marine mammal species, but specific studies regarding behavioural responses to these devices are limited and scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immediate behavioural responses of common (Delphinus delphis) and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins to a VTOL UAV flown at different altitudes. A multirotor (quadcopter) UAV with an attached GoPro camera was used. Once a dolphin group was located, the UAV was flown at a starting height of 50 m directly above the group, subsequently descending 5 m every 30 s until reaching 5 m. We assessed three behavioural responses to a VTOL UAV at different heights: (i) direction changes, (ii) swimming speed and (iii) diving. Responses by D. delphis (n = 15) and T. truncatus (n = 10) groups were analysed separately. There were no significant responses of T. truncatus to any of the studied variables. For D. delphis, however, there were statistically significant changes in direction when the UAV was flown at a height of 5 m. Our results indicate that UAVs do not induce immediate behavioural responses in common or bottlenose dolphins when flown at heights > 5 m, demonstrating that the use of VTOL UAVs to study dolphins has minimal impact on the animals. However, we advise the use of the precautionary principle when interpreting these results as characteristics of this study site (e.g., high whale-watching activity) may have habituated dolphins to anthropogenic disturbance. Full article
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Article
The Use of Deep Machine Learning for the Automated Selection of Remote Sensing Data for the Determination of Areas of Arable Land Degradation Processes Distribution
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 155; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010155 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
Soil degradation processes are widespread on agricultural land. Ground-based methods for detecting degradation require a lot of labor and time. Remote methods based on the analysis of vegetation indices can significantly reduce the volume of ground surveys. Currently, machine learning methods are increasingly [...] Read more.
Soil degradation processes are widespread on agricultural land. Ground-based methods for detecting degradation require a lot of labor and time. Remote methods based on the analysis of vegetation indices can significantly reduce the volume of ground surveys. Currently, machine learning methods are increasingly being used to analyze remote sensing data. In this paper, the task is set to apply deep machine learning methods and methods of vegetation indices calculation to automate the detection of areas of soil degradation development on arable land. In the course of the work, a method was developed for determining the location of degraded areas of soil cover on arable fields. The method is based on the use of multi-temporal remote sensing data. The selection of suitable remote sensing data scenes is based on deep machine learning. Deep machine learning was based on an analysis of 1028 scenes of Landsats 4, 5, 7 and 8 on 530 agricultural fields. Landsat data from 1984 to 2019 was analyzed. Dataset was created manually for each pair of “Landsat scene”/“agricultural field number”(for each agricultural field, the suitability of each Landsat scene was assessed). Areas of soil degradation were calculated based on the frequency of occurrence of low NDVI values over 35 years. Low NDVI values were calculated separately for each suitable fragment of the satellite image within the boundaries of each agricultural field. NDVI values of one-third of the field area and lower than the other two-thirds were considered low. During testing, the method gave 12.5% of type I errors (false positive) and 3.8% of type II errors (false negative). Independent verification of the method was carried out on six agricultural fields on an area of 713.3 hectares. Humus content and thickness of the humus horizon were determined in 42 ground-based points. In arable land degradation areas identified by the proposed method, the probability of detecting soil degradation by field methods was 87.5%. The probability of detecting soil degradation by ground-based methods outside the predicted regions was 3.8%. The results indicate that deep machine learning is feasible for remote sensing data selection based on a binary dataset. This eliminates the need for intermediate filtering systems in the selection of satellite imagery (determination of clouds, shadows from clouds, open soil surface, etc.). Direct selection of Landsat scenes suitable for calculations has been made. It allows automating the process of constructing soil degradation maps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Soil Degradation by Remote Sensing)
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Article
A Synthetic Quantitative Precipitation Estimation by Integrating S- and C-Band Dual-Polarization Radars over Northern Taiwan
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 154; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010154 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 858
Abstract
The key factors, namely, the radar data quality, raindrop size distribution (RSD) variability, and the data integration method, which significantly affect radar-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) are investigated using the RCWF (S-band) and NCU C-POL (C-band) dual-polarization radars in northern Taiwan. The radar [...] Read more.
The key factors, namely, the radar data quality, raindrop size distribution (RSD) variability, and the data integration method, which significantly affect radar-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) are investigated using the RCWF (S-band) and NCU C-POL (C-band) dual-polarization radars in northern Taiwan. The radar data quality control (QC) procedures, including the corrections of attenuation, the systematic bias, and the wet-radome effect, have large impact on the QPE accuracy. With the proper QC procedures, the values of normalized root mean square error (NRMSE) decrease about 10~40% for R(ZHH) and about 5~15% for R(KDP). The QPE error from the RSD variability is mitigated by applying seasonal coefficients derived from eight-year disdrometer data. Instead of using discrete QPEs (D-QPE) from one radar, the synthetic QPEs are derived via discretely combined QPEs (DC-QPE) from S- and C-band radars. The improvements in DC-QPE compared to D-QPE are about 1.5–7.0% and 3.5–8.5% in R(KDP) and R(KDP, ZDR), respectively. A novel algorithm, Lagrangian-evolution adjustment (LEA), is proposed to compensate D-QPE from a single radar. The LEA-QPE shows 1–4% improvements in R(KDP, ZDR) at the C-band radar, which has a larger scanning temporal gap (up to 10 min). The synthetic LEA-QPEs by combining two radars have outperformed both D-QPEs and DC-QPEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation and Water Cycle Measurements Using Remote Sensing)
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Article
Monitoring Spatiotemporal Changes of Impervious Surfaces in Beijing City Using Random Forest Algorithm and Textural Features
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010153 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
As the capital city of China, Beijing has experienced unprecedented economic and population growth and dramatic impervious surface changes during the last few decades. An application of the classification method combining the spectral and textural features based on Random Forest was conducted to [...] Read more.
As the capital city of China, Beijing has experienced unprecedented economic and population growth and dramatic impervious surface changes during the last few decades. An application of the classification method combining the spectral and textural features based on Random Forest was conducted to monitor the spatial and temporal changes of Beijing’s impervious surfaces. This classification strategy achieved excellent performance in the impervious surface extraction in complex urban areas, as the Kappa coefficient reached 0.850. Based on this strategy, the impervious surfaces inside Beijing’s sixth ring road in 1997, 2002, 2007, 2013, and 2017 were extracted. As the development of Beijing has a special regional feature, the changes of impervious surfaces within the sixth ring road were assessed. The findings are as follows: (1) the textural features can significantly improve the classification accuracy of land cover in urban areas, especially for the impervious surface with high albedo. (2) Impervious surfaces within the sixth ring road expanded dramatically from 1997 to 2017, had three expanding periods: 1997–2002, 2002–2007, and 2013–2017, and only shrank in 2007–2013. There are different possible major driving factors for each period. (3) The region between the fifth and sixth ring roads in Beijing underwent the most significant changes in the two decades. (4) The inner three regions are relatively highly urbanized areas compared to the outer two regions. Urbanization processes in the interior regions tend to be completed compared to the exterior regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Remote Sensing Applications in Urban Areas)
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Article
A Fast Retrieval of Cloud Parameters Using a Triplet of Wavelengths of Oxygen Dimer Band around 477 nm
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 152; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010152 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 716
Abstract
Clouds act as a major reflector that changes the amount of sunlight reflected to space. Change in radiance intensity due to the presence of clouds interrupts the retrieval of trace gas or aerosol properties from satellite data. In this paper, we developed a [...] Read more.
Clouds act as a major reflector that changes the amount of sunlight reflected to space. Change in radiance intensity due to the presence of clouds interrupts the retrieval of trace gas or aerosol properties from satellite data. In this paper, we developed a fast and robust algorithm, named the fast cloud retrieval algorithm, using a triplet of wavelengths (469, 477, and 485 nm) of the O2–O2 absorption band around 477 nm (CLDTO4) to derive the cloud information such as cloud top pressure (CTP) and cloud fraction (CF) for the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS). The novel algorithm is based on the fact that the difference in the optical path through which light passes with regard to the altitude of clouds causes a change in radiance due to the absorption of O2–O2 at the three selected wavelengths. To reduce the time required for algorithm calculations, the look-up table (LUT) method was applied. The LUT was pre-constructed for various conditions of geometry using Vectorized Linearized Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer (VLIDORT) to consider the polarization of the scattered light. The GEMS was launched in February 2020, but the observed data of GEMS have not yet been widely released. To evaluate the performance of the algorithm, the retrieved CTP and CF using observational data from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2), which cover the spectral range of GEMS, were compared with the results of the Fast Retrieval Scheme for Clouds from the Oxygen A band (FRESCO) algorithm, which is based on the O2 A-band. There was good agreement between the results, despite small discrepancies for low clouds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Remote Sensing Inversion)
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Article
SBAS-Aided GPS Positioning with an Extended Ionosphere Map at the Boundaries of WAAS Service Area
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 151; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010151 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 835
Abstract
Space-based augmentation system (SBAS) provides correction information for improving the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positioning accuracy in real-time, which includes satellite orbit/clock and ionospheric delay corrections. At SBAS service area boundaries, the correction is not fully available to GNSS users and only [...] Read more.
Space-based augmentation system (SBAS) provides correction information for improving the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positioning accuracy in real-time, which includes satellite orbit/clock and ionospheric delay corrections. At SBAS service area boundaries, the correction is not fully available to GNSS users and only a partial correction is available, mostly satellite orbit/clock information. By using the geospatial correlation property of the ionosphere delay information, the ionosphere correction coverage can be extended by a spatial extrapolation algorithm. This paper proposes extending SBAS ionosphere correction coverage by using a biharmonic spline extrapolation algorithm. The wide area augmentation system (WAAS) ionosphere map is extended and its ionospheric delay error is compared with the GPS Klobuchar model. The mean ionosphere error reduction at low latitude is 52.3%. The positioning accuracy of the extended ionosphere correction method is compared with the accuracy of the conventional SBAS positioning method when only a partial set of SBAS corrections are available. The mean positioning error reduction is 44.8%, and the positioning accuracy improvement is significant at low latitude. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Camera Calibration on Nearshore Bathymetry Estimation from UAV Videos
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 150; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010150 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1128
Abstract
Measuring the nearshore bathymetry is critical in coastal management and morphodynamic studies. The recent advent of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in combination with coastal video monitoring techniques, allows for an alternative and low cost evaluation of the nearshore bathymetry. Camera calibration and stabilization [...] Read more.
Measuring the nearshore bathymetry is critical in coastal management and morphodynamic studies. The recent advent of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in combination with coastal video monitoring techniques, allows for an alternative and low cost evaluation of the nearshore bathymetry. Camera calibration and stabilization is a critical issue in bathymetry estimation from video systems. This work introduces a new methodology in order to obtain such bathymetries, and it compares the results to echo-sounder ground truth data. The goal is to gain a better understanding on the influence of the camera calibration and stabilization on the inferred bathymetry. The results show how the proposed methodology allows for accurate evaluations of the bathymetry, with overall root mean square errors in the order of 40 cm. It is shown that the intrinsic calibration of the camera, related to the lens distortion, is the most critical aspect. Here, the intrinsic calibration that was obtained directly during the flight yields the best results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Application for Monitoring Coastal Morphology)
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Article
Mapping Frozen Ground in the Qilian Mountains in 2004–2019 Using Google Earth Engine Cloud Computing
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010149 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
The permafrost in the Qilian Mountains (QLMs), the northeastern margin of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, changed dramatically in the context of climate warming and increasing anthropogenic activities, which poses significant influences on the stability of the ecosystem, water resources, and greenhouse gas cycles. Yet, [...] Read more.
The permafrost in the Qilian Mountains (QLMs), the northeastern margin of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, changed dramatically in the context of climate warming and increasing anthropogenic activities, which poses significant influences on the stability of the ecosystem, water resources, and greenhouse gas cycles. Yet, the characteristics of the frozen ground in the QLMs are largely unclear regarding the spatial distribution of active layer thickness (ALT), the maximum frozen soil depth (MFSD), and the temperature at the top of the permafrost or the bottom of the MFSD (TTOP). In this study, we simulated the dynamics of the ALT, TTOP, and MFSD in the QLMs in 2004–2019 in the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. The widely-adopted Stefan Equation and TTOP model were modified to integrate with the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature (LST) in GEE. The N-factors, the ratio of near-surface air to ground surface freezing and thawing indices, were assigned to the freezing and thawing indices derived with MODIS LST in considerations of the fractional vegetation cover derived from MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The results showed that the GEE platform and remote sensing imagery stored in Google cloud could be quickly and effectively applied to obtain the spatial and temporal variation of permafrost distribution. The area with TTOP < 0 °C is 8.4 × 104 km2 (excluding glaciers and lakes) and accounts for 46.6% of the whole QLMs, the regional mean ALT is 2.43 ± 0.44 m, while the regional mean MFSD is 2.54 ± 0.45 m. The TTOP and ALT increase with the decrease of elevation from the sources of the sub-watersheds to middle and lower reaches. There is a strong correlation between TTOP and elevation (slope = −1.76 °C km−1, p < 0.001). During 2004–2019, the area of permafrost decreased by 20% at an average rate of 0.074 × 104 km2·yr−1. The regional mean MFSD decreased by 0.1 m at a rate of 0.63 cm·yr−1, while the regional mean ALT showed an exception of a decreasing trend from 2.61 ± 0.45 m during 2004–2005 to 2.49 ± 0.4 m during 2011–2015. Permafrost loss in the QLMs in 2004–2019 was accelerated in comparison with that in the past several decades. Compared with published permafrost maps, this study shows better calculation results of frozen ground in the QLMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Cryospheric Sciences)
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Article
Type III Radio Bursts Observations on 20th August 2017 and 9th September 2017 with LOFAR Bałdy Telescope
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010148 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
We present the observations of two type III solar radio events performed with LOFAR (LOw-Frequency ARray) station in Bałdy (PL612), Poland in single mode. The first event occurred on 20th August 2017 and the second one on 9th September 2017. Solar dynamic spectra [...] Read more.
We present the observations of two type III solar radio events performed with LOFAR (LOw-Frequency ARray) station in Bałdy (PL612), Poland in single mode. The first event occurred on 20th August 2017 and the second one on 9th September 2017. Solar dynamic spectra were recorded in the 10 MHz up to 90 MHz frequency band. Together with the wide frequency bandwidth LOFAR telescope (with single station used) provides also high frequency and high sensitivity observations. Additionally to LOFAR observations, the data recorded by instruments on boards of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the UV spectral range complement observations in the radio field. Unfortunately, only the radio event from 9th September 2017 was observed by both satellites. Our study shows that the LOFAR single station observations, in combination with observations at other wavelengths can be very useful for better understanding of the environment in which the type III radio events occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers of Microwave and Radar Week (MRW 2020))
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Article
Applying RGB- and Thermal-Based Vegetation Indices from UAVs for High-Throughput Field Phenotyping of Drought Tolerance in Forage Grasses
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 147; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010147 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
The persistence and productivity of forage grasses, important sources for feed production, are threatened by climate change-induced drought. Breeding programs are in search of new drought tolerant forage grass varieties, but those programs still rely on time-consuming and less consistent visual scoring by [...] Read more.
The persistence and productivity of forage grasses, important sources for feed production, are threatened by climate change-induced drought. Breeding programs are in search of new drought tolerant forage grass varieties, but those programs still rely on time-consuming and less consistent visual scoring by breeders. In this study, we evaluate whether Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based remote sensing can complement or replace this visual breeder score. A field experiment was set up to test the drought tolerance of genotypes from three common forage types of two different species: Festuca arundinacea, diploid Lolium perenne and tetraploid Lolium perenne. Drought stress was imposed by using mobile rainout shelters. UAV flights with RGB and thermal sensors were conducted at five time points during the experiment. Visual-based indices from different colour spaces were selected that were closely correlated to the breeder score. Furthermore, several indices, in particular H and NDLab, from the HSV (Hue Saturation Value) and CIELab (Commission Internationale de l’éclairage) colour space, respectively, displayed a broad-sense heritability that was as high or higher than the visual breeder score, making these indices highly suited for high-throughput field phenotyping applications that can complement or even replace the breeder score. The thermal-based Crop Water Stress Index CWSI provided complementary information to visual-based indices, enabling the analysis of differences in ecophysiological mechanisms for coping with reduced water availability between species and ploidy levels. All species/types displayed variation in drought stress tolerance, which confirms that there is sufficient variation for selection within these groups of grasses. Our results confirmed the better drought tolerance potential of Festuca arundinacea, but also showed which Lolium perenne genotypes are more tolerant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAVs for Vegetation Monitoring)
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Article
Prediction of Maize Yield at the City Level in China Using Multi-Source Data
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010146 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Maize is a widely grown crop in China, and the relationships between agroclimatic parameters and maize yield are complicated, hence, accurate and timely yield prediction is challenging. Here, climate, satellite data, and meteorological indices were integrated to predict maize yield at the city-level [...] Read more.
Maize is a widely grown crop in China, and the relationships between agroclimatic parameters and maize yield are complicated, hence, accurate and timely yield prediction is challenging. Here, climate, satellite data, and meteorological indices were integrated to predict maize yield at the city-level in China from 2000 to 2015 using four machine learning approaches, e.g., cubist, random forest (RF), extreme gradient boosting (Xgboost), and support vector machine (SVM). The climate variables included the diffuse flux of photosynthetic active radiation (PDf), the diffuse flux of shortwave radiation (SDf), the direct flux of shortwave radiation (SDr), minimum temperature (Tmn), potential evapotranspiration (Pet), vapor pressure deficit (Vpd), vapor pressure (Vap), and wet day frequency (Wet). Satellite data, including the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), were used. Meteorological indices, including growing degree day (GDD), extreme degree day (EDD), and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), were used. The results showed that integrating all climate, satellite data, and meteorological indices could achieve the highest accuracy. The highest estimated correlation coefficient (R) values for the cubist, RF, SVM, and Xgboost methods were 0.828, 0.806, 0.742, and 0.758, respectively. The climate, satellite data, or meteorological indices inputs from all growth stages were essential for maize yield prediction, especially in late growth stages. R improved by about 0.126, 0.117, and 0.143 by adding climate data from the early, peak, and late-period to satellite data and meteorological indices from all stages via the four machine learning algorithms, respectively. R increased by 0.016, 0.016, and 0.017 when adding satellite data from the early, peak, and late stages to climate data and meteorological indices from all stages, respectively. R increased by 0.003, 0.032, and 0.042 when adding meteorological indices from the early, peak, and late stages to climate and satellite data from all stages, respectively. The analysis found that the spatial divergences were large and the R value in Northwest region reached 0.942, 0.904, 0.934, and 0.850 for the Cubist, RF, SVM, and Xgboost, respectively. This study highlights the advantages of using climate, satellite data, and meteorological indices for large-scale maize yield estimation with machine learning algorithms. Full article
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Article
Retrieving Surface Soil Water Content Using a Soil Texture Adjusted Vegetation Index and Unmanned Aerial System Images
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 145; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010145 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Surface soil water content (SWC) is a major determinant of crop production, and accurately retrieving SWC plays a crucial role in effective water management. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can acquire images with high temporal and spatial resolutions for SWC monitoring at the field [...] Read more.
Surface soil water content (SWC) is a major determinant of crop production, and accurately retrieving SWC plays a crucial role in effective water management. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can acquire images with high temporal and spatial resolutions for SWC monitoring at the field scale. The objective of this study was to develop an algorithm to retrieve SWC by integrating soil texture into a vegetation index derived from UAS multispectral and thermal images. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and surface temperature (Ts) derived from the UAS multispectral and thermal images were employed to construct the temperature vegetation dryness index (TVDI) using the trapezoid model. Soil texture was incorporated into the trapezoid model based on the relationship between soil texture and the lower and upper limits of SWC to form the texture temperature vegetation dryness index (TTVDI). For validation, 128 surface soil samples, 84 in 2019 and 44 in 2020, were collected to determine soil texture and gravimetric SWC. Based on the linear regression models, the TTVDI had better performance in estimating SWC compared to the TVDI, with an increase in R2 (coefficient of determination) by 14.5% and 14.9%, and a decrease in RMSE (root mean square error) by 46.1% and 10.8%, for the 2019 and 2020 samples, respectively. The application of the TTVDI model based on high-resolution multispectral and thermal UAS images has the potential to accurately and timely retrieve SWC at the field scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drones for Precision Agriculture: Remote Sensing Applications)
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Article
Tree Species Classification of Forest Stands Using Multisource Remote Sensing Data
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010144 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
The spatial distribution of forest stands is one of the fundamental properties of forests. Timely and accurately obtained stand distribution can help people better understand, manage, and utilize forests. The development of remote sensing technology has made it possible to map the distribution [...] Read more.
The spatial distribution of forest stands is one of the fundamental properties of forests. Timely and accurately obtained stand distribution can help people better understand, manage, and utilize forests. The development of remote sensing technology has made it possible to map the distribution of tree species in a timely and accurate manner. At present, a large amount of remote sensing data have been accumulated, including high-spatial-resolution images, time-series images, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data, etc. However, these data have not been fully utilized. To accurately identify the tree species of forest stands, various and complementary data need to be synthesized for classification. A curve matching based method called the fusion of spectral image and point data (FSP) algorithm was developed to fuse high-spatial-resolution images, time-series images, and LiDAR data for forest stand classification. In this method, the multispectral Sentinel-2 image and high-spatial-resolution aerial images were first fused. Then, the fused images were segmented to derive forest stands, which are the basic unit for classification. To extract features from forest stands, the gray histogram of each band was extracted from the aerial images. The average reflectance in each stand was calculated and stacked for the time-series images. The profile curve of forest structure was generated from the LiDAR data. Finally, the features of forest stands were compared with training samples using curve matching methods to derive the tree species. The developed method was tested in a forest farm to classify 11 tree species. The average accuracy of the FSP method for ten performances was between 0.900 and 0.913, and the maximum accuracy was 0.945. The experiments demonstrate that the FSP method is more accurate and stable than traditional machine learning classification methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Tree Species Diversity)
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Article
Comparison of In Situ and Remote-Sensing Methods to Determine Turbidity and Concentration of Suspended Matter in the Estuary Zone of the Mzymta River, Black Sea
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010143 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
The paper presents the results of a comparison of water turbidity and suspended particulate matter concentration (SPM) obtained from quasi-synchronous in situ and satellite remote-sensing data. Field measurements from a small boat were performed in April and May 2019, in the northeastern part [...] Read more.
The paper presents the results of a comparison of water turbidity and suspended particulate matter concentration (SPM) obtained from quasi-synchronous in situ and satellite remote-sensing data. Field measurements from a small boat were performed in April and May 2019, in the northeastern part of the Black Sea, in the mouth area of the Mzymta River. The measuring instruments and methods included a turbidity sensor mounted on a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth), probe, a portable turbidimeter, water sampling for further laboratory analysis and collecting meteorological information from boat and ground-based weather stations. Remote-sensing methods included turbidity and SPM estimation using the C2RCC (Case 2 Regional Coast Color) and Atmospheric correction for OLI ‘lite’ (ACOLITE) ACOLITE processors that were run on Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Sentinel-2A/2B Multispectral Instrument (MSI) satellite data. The highest correlation between the satellite SPM and the water sampling SPM for the study area in conditions of spring flooding was achieved using C2RCC, but only for measurements undertaken almost synchronously with satellite imaging because of the high mobility of the Mzymta plume. Within the few hours when all the stations were completed, its boundary could shift considerably. The ACOLITE algorithms overestimated by 1.5 times the water sampling SPM in the low value range up to 15 g/m3. For SPM over 20–25 g/m3, a high correlation was observed both with the in situ measurements and the C2RCC results. It was demonstrated that quantitative turbidity and SPM values retrieved from Landsat-8 OLI and Sentinel-2A/2B MSI data can adequately reflect the real situation even using standard retrieval algorithms, not regional ones, provided the best suited algorithm is selected for the study region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Waters Monitoring Using Remote Sensing Technology)
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Article
Multi-Temporal Speckle Filtering of Polarimetric P-Band SAR Data over Dense Tropical Forests: Study Case in French Guiana for the BIOMASS Mission
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010142 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 787
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is twofold, considering first the generalization of a multichannel speckle filter in order to handle temporal stacks of polarimetric SLC SAR data, and secondly the development of an ad hoc performance indicator based on the Polarimetric Orientation Angle [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is twofold, considering first the generalization of a multichannel speckle filter in order to handle temporal stacks of polarimetric SLC SAR data, and secondly the development of an ad hoc performance indicator based on the Polarimetric Orientation Angle (POA) in order to better estimate the resulting speckle reduction than the standard Equivalent Number of Looks (ENL) over densely vegetated regions, like tropical forests. Being based on the ability of PolSAR measurements to retrieve ground slopes through dense vegetation, this performance indicator requires the use of low frequencies such as P-band, as well as fully polarimetric data. This study has thereby a particular interest in the context of the upcoming BIOMASS spaceborne mission whose launch is scheduled in 2023, and makes use of data from the TropiSAR airborne campaign initiated in the early stage of the mission developments. Conducted over several test sites of tropical dense forests in French Guiana, this campaign gives us the opportunity herein to exploit P-band temporal stacks with repeated time intervals transposable to BIOMASS in terms of signal decorrelation. The application of the generalized multichannel speckle filter to the Paracou test site dataset reveals the limitations of the standard ENL analytical formula to assess speckle reduction in the case of spatially correlated media like dense forests, and for this purpose the interest of the correlation between POA and azimuthal slopes computed from an independent Digital Surface Model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Article
Examination of the Daily Cycle Wind Vector Modes of Variability from the Constellation of Microwave Scatterometers and Radiometers
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010141 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 695
Abstract
Offshore of many coastal regions, the ocean surface wind varies in speed and direction throughout the day, owing to forcing from land/sea temperature differences and orographic effects. Far offshore, both diurnal and semidiurnal wind vector variability has been noted in the Tropical Atmosphere [...] Read more.
Offshore of many coastal regions, the ocean surface wind varies in speed and direction throughout the day, owing to forcing from land/sea temperature differences and orographic effects. Far offshore, both diurnal and semidiurnal wind vector variability has been noted in the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean-TRIangle Trans-Ocean buoy Network (TAO-TRITON) mooring data in the tropical Pacific Ocean. In this manuscript, the tropical diurnal wind variability is examined with microwave radiometer-derived winds from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), merged with RapidScat and other scatterometer data. Since the relationship between wind speed and its zonal and meridional components is nonlinear, this manuscript describes an observationally based methodology to merge the radiometer and scatterometer-based wind estimates as a function of observation time, to generate a multi-year dataset of diurnal wind variability. Compared to TAO-TRITON mooring array data, the merged satellite-derived wind components fairly well replicate the semidiurnal zonal wind variability over the tropical Pacific but generally show more variability in the meridional wind components. The meridional component agrees with the associated mooring location data in some locations better than others, or it shows no clear dominant diurnal or semidiurnal mode. Similar discrepancies are noted between two forecast model reanalysis products. It is hypothesized that the discrepancies amongst the meridional winds are due to interactions between surface convergence and convective precipitation over tropical ocean basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Ocean Surface Winds)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Variation of Siberian Crane Habitats and the Response to Water Level in Poyang Lake Wetland, China
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 140; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010140 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1143
Abstract
The Poyang Lake wetland in China is the largest wintering destination for Siberian cranes worldwide. Understanding the spatiotemporal characteristics of crane habitats is of great importance for ecological environment governance and biodiversity protection. The shallow water, grassland, and soft mudflat regions of the [...] Read more.
The Poyang Lake wetland in China is the largest wintering destination for Siberian cranes worldwide. Understanding the spatiotemporal characteristics of crane habitats is of great importance for ecological environment governance and biodiversity protection. The shallow water, grassland, and soft mudflat regions of the Poyang Lake wetland are ideal habitats for wintering Siberian cranes. Based on Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Operational Land Imager (OLI) remote sensing images, habitat areas were extracted and associated with various water levels taken on multiple dates. Landscape metrics were applied to describe the spatial structural characteristics of the crane habitats, and spatial statistics are used to explore the cold and hot spots of their distribution. Moreover, three indicators including sustainability, stability, and variety were applied to evaluate the vulnerability of the crane habitats under different hydrological conditions. Our findings indicate: (a) The main crane habitats exhibit a gradual decreasing degree of fragmentation in time, an obvious uncertainty of shape complexity and a relatively stable connectivity. (b) The crane habitats have a consistent spatial pattern of highly aggregated distributions associated with various water levels. (c) The hot spots of the habitats formed multiple “sheet” belts centered on the “Lake Enclosed in Autumn” regions, while the cold spots indicate a spatial pattern of axial distributions. (d) The majority of the hot spots of the habitats were distributed in sub-lakes found in the southeast part of the Poyang Lake watershed and the Nanjishan and Wucheng nature reserves, while the cold spots were mainly distributed in the main channels of the basins of Poyang Lake. (e) The sustainable habitats were mainly distributed in the “Lake Enclosed in Autumn” regions and intensively aggregated in two national nature reserves. (f) Under conditions of extremely low to average water levels (5.3–11.46 m), an increase of water level causes a decrease of the stability and variety of the crane habitats and weakens the aggregation structure. Full article
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Editorial
Earth Observation from KOMPSAT Optical, Thermal, and Radar Satellite Images
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 139; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010139 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Over the past several decades, as sensor technology has improved, the spatial resolution of satellite images has been steadily improving [...] Full article
Article
Advection of Biomass Burning Aerosols towards the Southern Hemispheric Mid-Latitude Station of Punta Arenas as Observed with Multiwavelength Polarization Raman Lidar
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010138 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
In this paper, we present long-term observations of the multiwavelength Raman lidar PollyXT conducted in the framework of the DACAPO-PESO campaign. Regardless of the relatively clean atmosphere in the southern mid-latitude oceans region, we regularly observed events of long-range transported smoke, [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present long-term observations of the multiwavelength Raman lidar PollyXT conducted in the framework of the DACAPO-PESO campaign. Regardless of the relatively clean atmosphere in the southern mid-latitude oceans region, we regularly observed events of long-range transported smoke, originating either from regional sources in South America or from Australia. Two case studies will be discussed, both identified as smoke events that occurred on 5 February 2019 and 11 March 2019. For the first case considered, the lofted smoke layer was located at an altitude between 1.0 and 4.2 km, and apart from the predominance of smoke particles, particle linear depolarization values indicated the presence of dust particles. Mean lidar ratio values at 355 and 532 nm were 49 ± 12 and 24 ± 18 sr respectively, while the mean particle linear depolarization was 7.6 ± 3.6% at 532 nm. The advection of smoke and dust particles above Punta Arenas affected significantly the available cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nucleating particles (INP) in the lower troposphere, and effectively triggered the ice crystal formation processes. Regarding the second case, the thin smoke layers were observed at altitudes 5.5–7.0, 9.0 and 11.0 km. The particle linear depolarization ratio at 532 nm increased rapidly with height, starting from 2% for the lowest two layers and increasing up to 9.5% for the highest layer, indicating the possible presence of non-spherical coated soot aggregates. INP activation was effectively facilitated. The long-term analysis of the one year of observations showed that tropospheric smoke advection over Punta Arenas occurred 16 times (lasting from 1 to 17 h), regularly distributed over the period and with high potential to influence cloud formation in the otherwise pristine environment of the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers of the European Lidar Conference)
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Article
Comparison of Masking Algorithms for Sentinel-2 Imagery
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010137 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1703
Abstract
Masking of clouds, cloud shadow, water and snow/ice in optical satellite imagery is an important step in automated processing chains. We compare the performance of the masking provided by Fmask (“Function of mask” implemented in FORCE), ATCOR (“Atmospheric Correction”) and Sen2Cor (“Sentinel-2 Correction”) [...] Read more.
Masking of clouds, cloud shadow, water and snow/ice in optical satellite imagery is an important step in automated processing chains. We compare the performance of the masking provided by Fmask (“Function of mask” implemented in FORCE), ATCOR (“Atmospheric Correction”) and Sen2Cor (“Sentinel-2 Correction”) on a set of 20 Sentinel-2 scenes distributed over the globe covering a wide variety of environments and climates. All three methods use rules based on physical properties (Top of Atmosphere Reflectance, TOA) to separate clear pixels from potential cloud pixels, but they use different rules and class-specific thresholds. The methods can yield different results because of different definitions of the dilation buffer size for the classes cloud, cloud shadow and snow. Classification results are compared to the assessment of an expert human interpreter using at least 50 polygons per class randomly selected for each image. The class assignment of the human interpreter is considered as reference or “truth”. The interpreter carefully assigned a class label based on the visual assessment of the true color and infrared false color images and additionally on the bottom of atmosphere (BOA) reflectance spectra. The most important part of the comparison is done for the difference area of the three classifications considered. This is the part of the classification images where the results of Fmask, ATCOR and Sen2Cor disagree. Results on difference area have the advantage to show more clearly the strengths and weaknesses of a classification than results on the complete image. The overall accuracy of Fmask, ATCOR, and Sen2Cor for difference areas of the selected scenes is 45%, 56%, and 62%, respectively. User and producer accuracies are strongly class- and scene-dependent, typically varying between 30% and 90%. Comparison of the difference area is complemented by looking for the results in the area where all three classifications give the same result. Overall accuracy for that “same area” is 97% resulting in the complete classification in overall accuracy of 89%, 91% and 92% for Fmask, ATCOR and Sen2Cor respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
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Editorial
Editorial for Special Issue “Remote Sensing of Precipitation: Part II”
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010136 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 759
Abstract
The ongoing and intensive consideration by the scientific community of the many facets of precipitation science constitutes a broad recognition of the significance of this indispensable component of the hydrologic cycle [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Precipitation: Part II)
Article
Detecting Tree Species Effects on Forest Canopy Temperatures with Thermal Remote Sensing: The Role of Spatial Resolution
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010135 - 03 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1755
Abstract
Canopy temperatures are important for understanding tree physiology, ecology, and their cooling potential, which provides a valuable ecosystem service, especially in urban environments. Linkages between tree species composition in forest stands and air temperatures remain challenging to quantify, as the establishment and maintenance [...] Read more.
Canopy temperatures are important for understanding tree physiology, ecology, and their cooling potential, which provides a valuable ecosystem service, especially in urban environments. Linkages between tree species composition in forest stands and air temperatures remain challenging to quantify, as the establishment and maintenance of onsite sensor networks is time-consuming and costly. Remotely-sensed land surface temperature (LST) observations can potentially acquire spatially distributed crown temperature data more efficiently. We analyzed how tree species modify canopy air temperature at an urban floodplain forest (Leipzig, Germany) site equipped with a detailed onsite sensor network, and explored whether mono-temporal thermal remote sensing observations (August, 2016) at different spatial scales could be used to model air temperatures at the tree crown level. Based on the sensor-network data, we found interspecific differences in summer air temperature to vary temporally and spatially, with mean differences between coldest and warmest tree species of 1 °C, and reaching maxima of up to 4 °C for the upper and lower canopy region. The detectability of species-specific differences in canopy surface temperature was found to be similarly feasible when comparing high-resolution airborne LST data to the airborne LST data aggregated to 30 m pixel size. To realize a spatial resolution of 30 m with regularly acquired data, we found the downscaling of Landsat 8 thermal data to be a valid alternative to airborne data, although detected between-species differences in surface temperature were less expressed. For the modeling of canopy air temperatures, all LST data up to the 30 m level were similarly appropriate. We thus conclude that satellite-derived LST products could be recommended for operational use to detect and monitor tree species effects on temperature regulation at the crown scale. Full article
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Article
Surface Tradeoffs and Elevational Shifts at the Largest Italian Glacier: A Thirty-Years Time Series of Remotely-Sensed Images
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010134 - 03 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
Biodiversity loss occurring in mountain ecosystems calls for integrative approaches to improve monitoring processes in the face of human-induced changes. With a combination of vegetation and remotely-sensed time series data, we quantitatively identify the responses of land-cover types and their associated vegetation between [...] Read more.
Biodiversity loss occurring in mountain ecosystems calls for integrative approaches to improve monitoring processes in the face of human-induced changes. With a combination of vegetation and remotely-sensed time series data, we quantitatively identify the responses of land-cover types and their associated vegetation between 1987 and 2016. Fuzzy clustering of 11 Landsat images was used to identify main land-cover types. Vegetation belts corresponding to such land-cover types were identified by using species indicator analysis performed on 80 vegetation plots. A post-classification evaluation of trends, magnitude, and elevational shifts was done using fuzzy membership values as a proxy of the occupied surfaces by land-cover types. Our findings show that forests and scrublands expanded upward as much as the glacier retreated, i.e., by 24% and 23% since 1987, respectively. While lower alpine grassland shifted upward, the upper alpine grassland lost 10% of its originally occupied surface showing no elevational shift. Moreover, an increase of suitable sites for the expansion of the subnival vegetation belt has been observed, due to the increasing availability of new ice-free areas. The consistent findings suggest a general expansion of forest and scrubland to the detriment of alpine grasslands, which in turn are shifting upwards or declining in area. In conclusion, alpine grasslands need urgent and appropriate monitoring processes ranging from the species to the landscape level that integrates remotely-sensed and field data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Ecosystem Monitoring Using Geospatial Techniques)
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Article
Evaluating Downscaling Factors of Microwave Satellite Soil Moisture Based on Machine Learning Method
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010133 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Downscaling microwave remotely sensed soil moisture (SM) is an effective way to obtain spatial continuous SM with fine resolution for hydrological and agricultural applications on a regional scale. Downscaling factors and functions are two basic components of SM downscaling where the former is [...] Read more.
Downscaling microwave remotely sensed soil moisture (SM) is an effective way to obtain spatial continuous SM with fine resolution for hydrological and agricultural applications on a regional scale. Downscaling factors and functions are two basic components of SM downscaling where the former is particularly important in the era of big data. Based on machine learning method, this study evaluated Land Surface Temperature (LST), Land surface Evaporative Efficiency (LEE), and geographical factors from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products for downscaling SMAP (Soil Moisture Active and Passive) SM products. This study spans from 2015 to the end of 2018 and locates in the central United States. Original SMAP SM and in-situ SM at sparse networks and core validation sites were used as reference. Experiment results indicated that (1) LEE presented comparative performance with LST as downscaling factors; (2) adding geographical factors can significantly improve the performance of SM downscaling; (3) integrating LST, LEE, and geographical factors got the best performance; (4) using Z-score normalization or hyperbolic-tangent normalization methods did not change the above conclusions, neither did using support vector regression nor feed forward neural network methods. This study demonstrates the possibility of LEE as an alternative of LST for downscaling SM when there is no available LST due to cloud contamination. It also provides experimental evidence for adding geographical factors in the downscaling process. Full article
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Article
A Genetic Optimization Resampling Based Particle Filtering Algorithm for Indoor Target Tracking
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010132 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
In indoor target tracking based on wireless sensor networks, the particle filtering algorithm has been widely used because of its outstanding performance in coping with highly non-linear problems. Resampling is generally required to address the inherent particle degeneracy problem in the particle filter. [...] Read more.
In indoor target tracking based on wireless sensor networks, the particle filtering algorithm has been widely used because of its outstanding performance in coping with highly non-linear problems. Resampling is generally required to address the inherent particle degeneracy problem in the particle filter. However, traditional resampling methods cause the problem of particle impoverishment. This problem degrades positioning accuracy and robustness and sometimes may even result in filtering divergence and tracking failure. In order to mitigate the particle impoverishment and improve positioning accuracy, this paper proposes an improved genetic optimization based resampling method. This resampling method optimizes the distribution of resampled particles by the five operators, i.e., selection, roughening, classification, crossover, and mutation. The proposed resampling method is then integrated into the particle filtering framework to form a genetic optimization resampling based particle filtering (GORPF) algorithm. The performance of the GORPF algorithm is tested by a one-dimensional tracking simulation and a three-dimensional indoor tracking experiment. Both test results show that with the aid of the proposed resampling method, the GORPF has better robustness against particle impoverishment and achieves better positioning accuracy than several existing target tracking algorithms. Moreover, the GORPF algorithm owns an affordable computation load for real-time applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Localization)
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Article
Deriving Tree Size Distributions of Tropical Forests from Lidar
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010131 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Remote sensing is an important tool to monitor forests to rapidly detect changes due to global change and other threats. Here, we present a novel methodology to infer the tree size distribution from light detection and ranging (lidar) measurements. Our approach is based [...] Read more.
Remote sensing is an important tool to monitor forests to rapidly detect changes due to global change and other threats. Here, we present a novel methodology to infer the tree size distribution from light detection and ranging (lidar) measurements. Our approach is based on a theoretical leaf–tree matrix derived from allometric relations of trees. Using the leaf–tree matrix, we compute the tree size distribution that fit to the observed leaf area density profile via lidar. To validate our approach, we analyzed the stem diameter distribution of a tropical forest in Panama and compared lidar-derived data with data from forest inventories at different spatial scales (0.04 ha to 50 ha). Our estimates had a high accuracy at scales above 1 ha (1 ha: root mean square error (RMSE) 67.6 trees ha−1/normalized RMSE 18.8%/R² 0.76; 50 ha: 22.8 trees ha−1/6.2%/0.89). Estimates for smaller scales (1-ha to 0.04-ha) were reliably for forests with low height, dense canopy or low tree height heterogeneity. Estimates for the basal area were accurate at the 1-ha scale (RMSE 4.7 tree ha−1, bias 0.8 m² ha−1) but less accurate at smaller scales. Our methodology, further tested at additional sites, provides a useful approach to determine the tree size distribution of forests by integrating information on tree allometries. Full article
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Article
Feature Line Embedding Based on Support Vector Machine for Hyperspectral Image Classification
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010130 - 01 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1365
Abstract
In this paper, a novel feature line embedding (FLE) algorithm based on support vector machine (SVM), referred to as SVMFLE, is proposed for dimension reduction (DR) and for improving the performance of the generative adversarial network (GAN) in hyperspectral image (HSI) classification. The [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel feature line embedding (FLE) algorithm based on support vector machine (SVM), referred to as SVMFLE, is proposed for dimension reduction (DR) and for improving the performance of the generative adversarial network (GAN) in hyperspectral image (HSI) classification. The GAN has successfully shown high discriminative capability in many applications. However, owing to the traditional linear-based principal component analysis (PCA) the pre-processing step in the GAN cannot effectively obtain nonlinear information; to overcome this problem, feature line embedding based on support vector machine (SVMFLE) was proposed. The proposed SVMFLE DR scheme is implemented through two stages. In the first scatter matrix calculation stage, FLE within-class scatter matrix, FLE between-scatter matrix, and support vector-based FLE between-class scatter matrix are obtained. Then in the second weight determination stage, the training sample dispersion indices versus the weight of SVM-based FLE between-class matrix are calculated to determine the best weight between-scatter matrices and obtain the final transformation matrix. Since the reduced feature space obtained by the SVMFLE scheme is much more representative and discriminative than that obtained using conventional schemes, the performance of the GAN in HSI classification is higher. The effectiveness of the proposed SVMFLE scheme with GAN or nearest neighbor (NN) classifiers was evaluated by comparing them with state-of-the-art methods and using three benchmark datasets. According to the experimental results, the performance of the proposed SVMFLE scheme with GAN or NN classifiers was higher than that of the state-of-the-art schemes in three performance indices. Accuracies of 96.3%, 89.2%, and 87.0% were obtained for the Salinas, Pavia University, and Indian Pines Site datasets, respectively. Similarly, this scheme with the NN classifier also achieves 89.8%, 86.0%, and 76.2% accuracy rates for these three datasets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GPU Computing for Geoscience and Remote Sensing)
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Article
Relation-Constrained 3D Reconstruction of Buildings in Metropolitan Areas from Photogrammetric Point Clouds
by and
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13010129 - 01 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
The complexity and variety of buildings and the defects of point cloud data are the main challenges faced by 3D urban reconstruction from point clouds, especially in metropolitan areas. In this paper, we developed a method that embeds multiple relations into a procedural [...] Read more.
The complexity and variety of buildings and the defects of point cloud data are the main challenges faced by 3D urban reconstruction from point clouds, especially in metropolitan areas. In this paper, we developed a method that embeds multiple relations into a procedural modelling process for the automatic 3D reconstruction of buildings from photogrammetric point clouds. First, a hybrid tree of constructive solid geometry and boundary representation (CSG-BRep) was built to decompose the building bounding space into multiple polyhedral cells based on geometric-relation constraints. The cells that approximate the shapes of buildings were then selected based on topological-relation constraints and geometric building models were generated using a reconstructing CSG-BRep tree. Finally, different parts of buildings were retrieved from the CSG-BRep trees, and specific surface types were recognized to convert the building models into the City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) format. The point clouds of 105 buildings in a metropolitan area in Hong Kong were used to evaluate the performance of the proposed method. Compared with two existing methods, the proposed method performed the best in terms of robustness, regularity, and topological correctness. The CityGML building models enriched with semantic information were also compared with the manually digitized ground truth, and the high level of consistency between the results suggested that the produced models will be useful in smart city applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Urban Scene Reconstruction Using Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing)
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