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This work describes two approaches for the extraction of quantitative information on the degree of surface heterogeneity at the subpixel scale of optical remote sensing data. The first approach is a look-up-table based inversion scheme, where the spectral reflectances of realistically modelled three-dimensional vegetation canopies are pre-computed for a variety of atmospheric optical depths, and subsequently compared against actual satellite observations under identical conditions of observation and illumination. The second approach is based on quantifying the 'shape' of the spectral reflectance field using the modified Minnaert function parameter, k in the parametric RPV model of Rahman. In essence, this thesis shows that the information on the structure of vegetation canopies can be derived from satellite remote sensing data, provided such measurements are acquired as a function of observation angles.

This work was carried out at the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of the EC Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, and was accepted as a Ph.D. dissertation by the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, November 20th 2001.

Additional information

Authors: WIDLOWSKI J-L, University of Fribourg (CH)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20236 EN (2002), pp.161. Euro: Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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