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Fast algorithms for removing atmospheric effects from satellite images

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5 Author(s)
Fallah-Adl, H. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Maryland Univ., College Park, MD, USA ; JaJa, J. ; Liang, S. ; Townshend, J.
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The varied features of the earth's surface each reflect sunlight and other wavelengths of solar radiation in a highly specific way. This principle provides the foundation for the science of satellite based remote sensing. A vexing problem confronting remote sensing researchers, however, is that the reflected radiation observed from remote locations is significantly contaminated by atmospheric particles. These aerosols and molecules scatter and absorb the solar photons reflected by the surface in such a way that only part of the surface radiation can be detected by a sensor. The article discusses the removal of atmospheric effects due to scattering and absorption, ie., atmospheric correction. Atmospheric correction algorithms basically consist of two major steps. First, the optical characteristics of the atmosphere are estimated. Various quantities related to the atmospheric correction can then be computed by radiative transfer algorithms, given the atmospheric optical properties. Second, the remotely sensed imagery is corrected by inversion procedures that derive the surface reflectance. We focus on the second step, describing our work on improving the computational efficiency of the existing atmospheric correction algorithms. We discuss a known atmospheric correction algorithm and then introduce a substantially more efficient version which we have devised. We have also developed a parallel implementation of our algorithm

Published in:

Computational Science & Engineering, IEEE  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 2 )