Remote Sensing

Observation from afar

The following is a brief introduction to remote sensing and Earth and forest monitoring.

According to DIN 18716/3 (a standard of the German Institute for Standardization), remote sensing refers to the entirety of procedures for obtaining information about the Earth's surface by measuring and interpreting the (energy) fields emanating from it. The electromagnetic radiation reflected or emitted by the Earth serves as information carrier.

Remote sensing is the contactless measurement and collection of information by means of sensors over a distance. Earth observation by remote sensing has been in use for decades, and the number of airborne systems and satellites is steadily increasing (Belward & Sk√łien 2015; Boyd & Danson 2005; Landgrebe 1997). New and more powerful sensors and evaluation options have been developed.

Examples of remote sensing applications include

  • Impacts of climate change and mitigation measures
  • Changes in land cover/land use
  • Water quality and availability
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Exploration of natural resources
  • Hazard and risk assessment