Visible and Infrared

Visible and infrared spaceborne sensors measure the amount of radiation reflected (or emitted) back from the Earth and its overlying atmosphere.  Like our eyes, these sensors operate largely within the optical spectrum, producing images that are recognizable and ready for interpretation.  The growth and health of vegetation directly affects their appearance in visible-infrared imagery.  As such, these data are extremely valuable for measuring the productivity and health of natural systems.    

A core group of scientists at the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO) specialize in the use of Visible-Infrared satellite sensors, and the development of products derived from optical image data.  On a national scale, these sensors have been used to generate the Long Term Satellite Data Records, as well as several derived indicators and biophysical parameters.

In addition to the analysis of data from existing visible-infrared satellite sensors (AVHRR, MODIS, MERIS, Landsat, SPOT), CCMEO scientists are involved in the scientific preparations for effective and immediate use of data from future sensors (e.g. Sentinel 2).

Some examples of current optical EO research activities at CCMEO include:

CCMEO uses a wide variety of geospatial information, integrated to provide important information sources for users within the Government of Canada, as well as the general public.

Some examples of current research activities that utilize visible-infrared satellite data at CCMEO include:

CCMEO achievements in the areas of optical methodology development and applications have been numerous, with many being firsts in Canada and the world.