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Bayesian estimation for land surface temperature retrieval: the nuisance of emissivities

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1 Author(s)
Morgan, J.A. ; Aerosp. Corp., Los Angeles, CA, USA

An approach to the remote sensing of land surface temperature is developed using the methods of Bayesian inference. The starting point is the maximum entropy estimate for the posterior distribution of radiance in multiple bands. In order to convert this quantity to an estimator for surface temperature and emissivity with Bayes' theorem, it is necessary to obtain the joint prior probability for surface temperature and emissivity, given available prior knowledge. The requirement that any pair of distinct observers be able to relate their descriptions of radiance under arbitrary Lorentz transformations uniquely determines the prior probability. Perhaps surprisingly, surface temperature acts as a scale parameter, while emissivity acts as a location parameter, giving the prior probability P(T,ε|K)=(const/T)dTdε. Given this result, it is a simple matter to construct estimators for surface temperature and emissivity. A Monte Carlo simulation of land surface temperature retrieval in selected MODIS bands is presented as an example of the utility of the approach.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 6 )