TABLE 3.2 Current Land Remote Sensing Instruments in the Public Domain

Instrument

Measurement

Resolution and Coverage

Data Availability

Land Remote Sensing Satellite (Landsat)

Provides the longest continuous record of the Earth’s continental surfaces

15-60 m, global

Landsat 7: 1999-present

Landsat 5: 1984-present

Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)

Provides high-resolution images of the land surface, water, ice, and clouds

15-90 m, global

1999-present

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS)

Measures biological and physical processes occurring on the surface of the Earth, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere

250 m-1 km, global

1999-present

Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS)

Measures constituents of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere

5-20 m, aircraft is tasked

1998-present

showed an uncertainty of 20 percent when automated techniques were compared with air photos (Table 3.1). These methods may be suitable for countries with appropriate technical expertise and software capabilities for automation.

Forest Degradation. Remote sensing techniques can be used to identify partial biomass removals over large areas, particularly biofuels harvest (Asner et al., 2005) and selective harvest of high-grade trees in the tropics. In northern forests, degradation from logging can be

FIGURE 3.1 Major land cover features for the coterminous United States, based on early to mid-1990s Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite data. SOURCE: Vogelmann et al. (2001). Reprinted with permission from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

FIGURE 3.1 Major land cover features for the coterminous United States, based on early to mid-1990s Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite data. SOURCE: Vogelmann et al. (2001). Reprinted with permission from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.



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