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Proceedings of the Symposium on Progress in Data Processing and Analysis

Bach E., Nopirakowski J., Oertel D.
Modular Concept of an Airborne System for Collecting,
Processing and Analysis of Remotely Sensed Data
Remote sensing as a method for collecting of geophysical information may contribute to research and
solution of many environmental problems. Instrumental developments in the optical and infrared region
(CCD- sensor techniques, imaging spectrometry, thermovision etc.) as well as progress in computer
techniaues make it possible to create the multisensor concept of an airborne remote sensing system.
Controll of collection, selection and processing of data can be achieved by thematical aspects.
1. Introduction
Ecology and Remote Sensing
Global ecological problems, for example climatic change caused by the greenhouse- effect and its in-
cedences on the planet’s temperature increase will be researched in connection with the international
research programmes of the WMO ("World Climate Research Programme") and the UNESCO ("Inter
national Geosphere Biosphere Programme" and "Man and Biosphere"). Importent in this connection will
be the accumulation of information about global changes in vegetation and climatic processes, the ob
servation of ocean circulation, hurricanes, coastal erosion, desertification and other natural occurren
ces, as well as regional monitoring of landscape conditions. Methods and systems of remote sensing
of the earth from space can now help in obtaining this information /1/.
The complexity of these problems makes it necessary to utilise all our knowledge of earth sciences and
to carry out geophysical investigations, including ground-based observations as well as airborne and
spaceborne measurements and to include this same information into Geo-Information- Systems. Ne
vertheless the observation of local processes within geosystems, caused by the influences of environ
mental changes, gains importance.
In the last five years, the Intercosmos Working Group on Remote Sensing has organized international
research experiments as part of the project "Studies of the Content and Dynamics of Geosystems by
Methods of Remote Sensing" (for instance "Kursk- 85" in the USSR, "GEOEX-86" in the GDR,
"TELEGEO-87" in Poland and “Caribe-88" in Cuba). Scientists of the GDR have developed a number
of methods and regression algorithms to solve problems of environmental research, as tor example in
determining the vitality of agricultural plants; the classification of forest damage; the investigation of
surface water conditions and the analysis of heat conditions in urban regions. Tne results of such inve
stigations show that the interpretation of remote sensing data is more reliable if data from several dif
ferent sensor systems is analysed /2/.
As a result of this conclusion, a workteam of the Institute of Cosmic Research of the Academy of Science
of the- GDR has created the concept of a multisensor airborne remote sensing system called TOMAS
(Thematisch programmierbares optoelektronisches Multispektral- Aufnahme- System).
2. Objects of Remote Sensing and the Problem of Information
Multispectfel scanners and imaging spectrometers are used on spacecraft or aircraft to obtain informa
tion about remission and emission of radiation of objects at the earth’s surface. This has been carried
out in accordance with there operativity and compatibility to computer image processing systems. Their
capabilities are limited by the capacity of present-day available data recording and transmiting systems.
For this reason, designers of remote sensing systems have to set the data rate not as frequently as
possible, but only frequently as nessecary.
Different scientific goals demand different parameters of measurement, such as:
• The instantaneous field of view (IFOV),
• the total field of view (TFOV),
• the number and position of spectral bands (Xi... Xj) and
• the spectral resolution (AX).