MTMG38-Remote Sensing

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: MTMG02 Atmospheric Physics
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Nicolas Bellouin


Summary module description:

This module covers topics in remote sensing.

This module aims to review fundamentals of radiative transfer as applied to remote sensing, and to develop knowledge of the theory and practice of passive and active remote sensing of meteorological parameters from space and ground.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

• Distinguish and describe the platforms and designs of remote sensing instruments;

• Identify and explain theoretical principles of ground- and satellite-based remote sensing measurements;

• Develop and evaluate retrieval methods for sensing aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and atmospheric profiles of temperature and humidity.

Additional outcomes:
Recognize the advantages and the limitations of ground- and satellite-based remote sensing techniques
• Develop skills in data analysis and radiative transfer simulations

Outline content:

The lecture content covers:

Satellite orbits and sensor types;

• Passive spectrometers and detectors;

• The nature of radiation;

• Radiative transfer with scattering;

• Sensing aerosols by extinction methods;

• Sensing aerosols and clouds by reflected sunlight;

• Microwave radiometry;

• Sensing water vapor and clouds by emission;

• Sensing by emission: microwave sounding;

• Remote sensing of precipitation;

• Active remote sensing: radar and lidar.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, homework, and class project. Class projects will involve analyses of ground- and satellite-based measurements.


1. G. L. Stephens, Remote Sensing of the Lower Atmosphere, 1994, Oxford University Press

2. G. W. Petty, A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation, 2006, 2nd Ed., Sundog Publishing.

3. K.-N. Liou, An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation, 2nd Ed., Academic Press.

4. M. Goody and Y. L. Yung, Atmospheric Radiation: Theoretical Basis, 1995, 2nd Ed., Oxford University Press.

5. S. Q. Kidder and T. H. Vonder Haar, Satellite Meteorology: An Introduction, 1995, Academic Press.

6. W. G. Rees, Physical Principles of Remote Sensing, 2001, 2nd. Edition, Cambridge University Press.

 Reading lists for meteorology modules are available here

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 17
Seminars 1
Tutorials 4
Practicals classes and workshops 0
Guided independent study 78
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Oral assessment and presentation 15
Set exercise 10
Class test administered by School 45

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Meetings to give feedback on project questions.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
2 hour exam with a choice of two from three questions in April.

Requirements for a pass:

50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
For candidates who have failed, an opportunity to take a resit examination will be provided within the lifetime of the course.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 24 July 2017

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