Ecological Research Needs from Multiangle Remote Sensing Data


Remotely sensed land surface reflectance depends upon changing sun and sensor viewing geometry, and this dependence is governed by the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). Because the reflectance distribution of vegetation is strongly anisotropic, multi-view angle (MVA) observations of terrestrial ecosystems contain additional and unique information beyond that acquired with nadir or single-angle spectral measurements alone. With the NASA EOS instruments MODIS and MISR and France's POLDER, new capabilities in MVA remote sensing will become widely available for ecological, biogeochemical, and land-surface biophysical research. However, a communication gap exists between the remote sensing and ecological communities in terms of the capabilities of the former and the needs of the latter. In this article, we present a summary of ecological research needs for remotely sensed data. Based on these needs, we present a review of some of the most promising MVA remote sensing methods for fulfilling these requirements. With this article, we hope to facilitate increased communication between the remote sensing, ecological, and biogeochemical research communities.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

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Remote Sensing of Environment



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