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The quantitative interpretation of satellite observations requires the use of mathematical tools to extract the desired information on terrestrial environments from the radiation data collected in space. A whole range of approaches can be pursued, from the development of models capable of explaining the nature of the physical signal being measured and of characterising the state of the system under observation, to the empirical correlations between the variables of interest and the space measurements. The premises and implications of these approaches are outlined, paying special attention to the mathematical and numerical requirements. The role and specific applications of empirical bidirectional reflectance models is also discussed. The advantages and drawbacks of these various approaches and the research priorities for the next few years are discussed in the context of the planned availability of new sensors.

Additional information

Authors: VERSTRAETE M M, JRC Ispra (IT);PINTY B, Université Blaise Pascal, Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique, Aubière (FR);MYNENI R, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences Branch, Greenbelt (US)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 6ème Symposium International Mesures Physiques et Signatures en Télédétection, Val d'Isère (FR), Janvier 17-21, 1994
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38291 ORA
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