ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2017, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 9-26

Multispectral nighttime remote sensing of the Earth

M.N. Zhizhin 1, 2, 3 , C.D. Elvidge 2 , А.А. Poyda 4, 3 
1 University of Colorado, Broomfield, USA
2 NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Boulder, USA
3 Space Research Institute RAS, Moscow, Russia
4 National Research Center Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 10.12.2016
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2017-14-3-9-26
Modern low-orbiting and geostationary satellites are capable to observe the night side of the Earth in visible (0.4–1 µm) and multiple short/mid/long infrared bands (1–20 um). Traditional applications for the nighttime multispectral remote sensing are cloud cover and biomass burning. Clouds and fires are observed both at day and night, thus the detection methods are made universal and as a consequence less sensitive to the light sources at night. The nighttime satellite observations have no contamination from solar light and provide a window of opportunities for a new class of specialized multispectral methods and applications. The most comprehensive sensor for the night time multispectral remote sensing is Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) spacecraft. The paper provides a review of the new applications for nighttime remote sensing and special methods for the satellite image processing. The new applications include mapping of the stable nighttime lights, detection of the natural gas flares, and monitoring of the nighttime fishing boats inside the marine protected areas.
Keywords: nighttime remote sensing, multispectral remote sensing, DMSL, VIIRS, city lights, gas flares, fishing boat lights
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