The Satellite Remote Sensing Summer School held at the University of Sydney this year was truly an educational experience. Many thanks to all the presenters particularly the DLR engineers who provided informative and detailed aspects of satellite remote sensing. Their time is precious and as a student in class, it was a great chance to hear the professionals talk about their work.
We take satellites for granted so much, because typically we don’t appreciate just how much mathematical modelling and research it takes to build a satellite. We see the end product which maybe a map in colour that has nice labels and scales to identify for you what is where.
To get a satellite image takes an unimaginable amount of processing work within software but not forgetting the physical ground infrastructure setup to enable the capture of such images. The conditions satellites must operate within can truly drive the base components and hardware to the limits, so it was fascinating to hear of the comprises that must be made when choosing resolution, the signal to noise ratios and having to manage fundamental physical limits that restrict satellite design when looking at hyperspectral imaging.
Hyperspectral imaging is really the marketing way of saying spectroscopy from space. Your ability to measure a point on Earth and measure across several frequencies within the spectrum to see what is on the ground. Sounds straight forward enough until you start considering all the issues with that light travelling towards your camera sensor on board the satellite. Travelling through atmosphere affects the results, the direction of the camera, the time of day the measurement occurs, incident scattering of photons, noise within the sensors and equipment and many more factors affect your results. Truly a time-consuming engineering challenge.
We heard during the time there many discussions and it was great to see collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and insight. I only wish it could keep going.
Many thanks to all presenters ESS Weathertech, SSTL, German Aerospace Centre, SatDek Consulting, HyVista Corporation, Earthspace, La Trobe Univerisy and of course The University of Sydney.