Earth Observation from Space: The Optical View

Professor Mathias Disney

Professor of Remote Sensing, UCL

Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to optical Earth observation - monitoring our planet from satellites, using photography, imaging in various wavelengths, lidar and other optical sensing technologies.

You’ll find out how satellite data is acquired and used, the range of data types available, and the terminology and techniques involved. The course will also provide detailed case studies of how this data is used in diverse fields, from climate science to humanitarian relief, monitoring of urban change to agriculture, and many other areas.

Learning Outcomes
  • Explore how we observe and measure the Earth with optical sensors
  • Investigate how satellite data is used alongside other forms of measurement
  • Describe the main types of data acquired through Copernicus and other missions
  • Explore how to conduct simple analysis using a range of different types of optical Earth observation (EO) data
  • Investigate how optical EO data is used in policy and decision-making, in a range of arenas, in conjunction with models
Who is this course for?

This course is designed both for people with some existing knowledge of Earth observation, as well as newcomers to the field. It will demystify the data, and make it easier for non-technical users to interpret and use it in their professional or day-to-day life, and in discourse and debate

(This course was also previously available via the FutureLearn platform here)

Professor Mathias Disney

Professor of Remote Sensing, UCL

Dr Shubha Sathyendranath

Senior Scientist, PML

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