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Physical Principles of Remote Sensing

Provides a thorough grounding in the physical and technical principles of remote sensing as well as providing a broad range of Earth and environmental applications
Fully updated with significant new treatments of photography, laser profiling and image processing
Covers a broad range of remote sensing applications and techniques across the Earth, environmental and planetary sciences

Series: Topics in Remote Sensing

By: WG Rees (Author)

441 pages, 32 plates with 40 colour photos and illustrations; 323 b/w photos and illustrations, tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Nov 2012 | Edition: 3 | #199472 | ISBN-13: 9780521181167
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £44.99 $55/€50 approx
Hardback | Nov 2012 | Edition: 3 | #199471 | ISBN-13: 9781107004733
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £84.99 $104/€95 approx

About this book

Fully updated and containing significant new material on photography, laser profiling and image processing, the third edition of this popular textbook covers a broad range of remote sensing applications and techniques across the Earth, environmental and planetary sciences. It focuses on physical principles, giving students a deeper understanding of remote sensing systems and their possibilities, while remaining accessible to those with less mathematical training by providing a step-by-step approach to quantitative topics. Boxed examples, additional photos and numerous colour images engage students and show them how the theory relates to the many real-world applications. Chapter summaries, review questions and additional problems allow students to check their understanding of key concepts and practise handling real data for themselves. Supplementary online material includes links to freely available software, animations, computer programs, colour images and other web-based resources of interest.

"This is a welcome new edition of a popular text, with wonderful color illustrations. The author has managed to help students digest the principles by adding useful summaries and review questions. A practical improvement for students and instructors is the addition of the rich suite of online resources, which greatly add to the book's appeal."
- Farouk El-Baz, Director, Center for Remote Sensing, Boston University

"Rees' new edition of his popular remote sensing textbook is written in an easy-to-follow style, but doesn't neglect the mathematical underpinnings. It covers principles related to all the key wavelength regions, and such diverse topics as photogrammetry, atmospheric sounding and multispectral imaging. Including coverage of applications on land, in the atmosphere and oceans, it represents an excellent resource for students and practitioners alike."
- Martin Wooster, Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Research Group, King's College London

"The third edition of this well known, highly respected and authoritative textbook contains a wealth of new material that captures advances in optical and microwave sensor systems and applications. University teachers will be delighted that the format remains the same; theory and technical detail are explained in clear language and supported by excellent diagrams and figures. The book incorporates good pedagogic principles [...] additional text boxes to help guide students not familiar with certain theoretical concepts, and review questions with problems to assist teachers to set extension exercises. [It] uses excellent examples, many of which are new in this edition, that clearly demonstrate why remote sensing data from a very wide range of sensors and platforms has such an impact on science and society today. Every student of remote sensing, whatever their level, and every library should have a copy of this excellent book."
- Daniel Donoghue, Durham University


Reviews of previous editions:

"[...] a clear, concise introduction to a topic that will continue to grow in its importance in the earth sciences. It would be an excellent choice as a text for an advanced undergraduate course."
- Geophysics

" [...] a good textbook at an undergraduate level for a remote sensing course."
- Physics in Canada

"As it is comprehensive and easy-to-read it is also of great interest for neighbouring fields such as practical geoscience. For the practical man it can serve as a reference book. Thus the book can be well recommended to a wide circle of experts."

" [...] very suitable for an upper undergraduate or graduate-level course in quantitative remote sensing. The book is by far one of the best books I have read that includes the equations necessary to determine quantitative items for various processes and principles in remote sensing. I would highly recommend this book for the classroom and as an excellent reference source for any remote sensing scientist."
- Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

" [...] this is an excellent, traditional text that covers the technical aspects of the subject very well."
- Nigel Cassidy, Geoscientist



1. Introduction
2. Electromagnetic waves in free space
3. Interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter
4. Interaction of electromagnetic radiation with the Earth's atmosphere
5. Photographic systems
6. Electro-optical systems
7. Passive microwave systems
8. Ranging systems
9. Scattering systems
10. Platforms for remote sensing
11. Data processing

Appendix: data tables


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W. G. Rees is a senior lecturer at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, where he has taught and researched in the field of remote sensing for over twenty years. He has been active in developing and applying remote sensing methods to the mapping and monitoring of the polar regions, having conducted fieldwork in arctic regions of Europe and Asia and in Svalbard. For the past few years he has been joint coordinator of PPS Arctic, a major programme to investigate the characteristics and behaviour of the arctic treeline as part of the International Polar Year, and he is also a member of the ISPRS (International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) working group on LiDAR. Dr Rees has published several books on remote sensing, including the first and second editions of Physical Principles of Remote Sensing (1990, 2001, Cambridge University Press), The Remote Sensing Data Book (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Remote Sensing of Glaciers (with P. Pellikka, Taylor and Francis, 2010). He was made a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 1996 and is a member of the Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Society.

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