Science Inventory

REMOTE SENSING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE MONITORING

Citation:

Garofalo, D. REMOTE SENSING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE MONITORING. Presented at Managing Technology 2003, Policy, Politics, and Leadership, Atlanta, GA, May 28, 2003.

Impact/Purpose:

The objectives of this task are to provide site-specific information on the condition and activities occurring at hazardous waste sites at a point in time or over a historical period; document these conditions and changes; provide guides in the form of reports, maps, and photographs for assisting in the safe cleanup of hazardous waste materials; and assist in emergency response and enforcement efforts when requested by client offices. Remote sensing technical support is provided to all EPA Regional Superfund Offices and OERR, and includes: hazardous waste disposal site characterization and mapping; annotated aerial photographs; and enforcement support. Funding will support two Interagency Agreements to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to support facility/maintenance costs and access to and use of equipment and classified data by the Landscape Ecology Branch/Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center (LEB/EPIC) staff assigned to that location. Funding will also provide for the operation and maintenence of ESD's remote sensing and spatial data library/archive needed to support the various Superfund projects requested by EPA client offices during the year. Funding will also provide for a Senior Environmental Employee (SEE) to provide clerical support at the LEB/EPIC USGS location.

Extramural Superfund funding will also support R&D Superfund activities in remote sensing for ultimate use in the technical support program.

Description:

I. Remote Sensing Basics
A. The electromagnetic spectrum demonstrates what we can see both in the visible and beyond the visible part of the spectrum through the use of various types of sensors.
B. Resolution refers to what a remote sensor can see and how often.
1. Spatial resolution addresses the smallest feature size which can be seen or differentiated from an adjacent feature based on the sensor being used.
2. Spectral resolution refers to the spectral bands which a sensor is capable of detecting as well as band width.
3. Temporal resolution refers to the frequency with which remote sensing data are collected and the archival record available for a given sensor.
4. Photogrammetryis the art and science of making accurate measurements on remote sensing images; the technology is also used for making accurate maps from remote sensing data.
C. Sensor types are varied. Selected sensor types are either active or passive. Radar is an active sensor because it generates and transmits its own source of electromagnetic energy which interacts with an object and is reflected back to the sensor for recording and analysis. Cameras, multi spectral and hyperspectral scanners, are passive devices which receive and record solar energy which has been reflected or transmitted from objects. Thermal scanners passively receive and detect temperature information being transmitted from hot or cold surfaces.

Aerial Camera/Film is sensitive to the visible and near infrared (reflective, not thermal) portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, depending upon the type of film which is used in the camera.
Radar is an active sensor which can be mounted on aircraft or spacecraft. Radar generates and records its own electromagnetic energy .It "shouts out" its signal and records the part of the signal which bounces off objects and is returned to the sensor .

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 05/28/2003
Record Last Revised: 06/06/2005
Record ID: 61764

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH