Passive Satellite Data

Passive satellite data are based on sensors relying on reflectance of solar energy back to the sensor or detector. Different types of indices can be developed to facilitate the interpretation of images and estimation of different land areas. It is also possible to obtain time-series data for the desired land-use systems, since satellites cover the land-use systems of any project location continuously and regularly.

The smallest unit to be identified depends on the spatial resolution. At a spatial resolution of 30 m, units as small as 1 ha can be identified (IPCC 2006). More information on passive satellite data and steps for project area and boundary estimation is given in Chapter 14.

Material required includes images (purchased or downloaded) and computer software. Further, knowledge of digital image processing is required. Merits and Demerits of Passive Satellite Data


• Available as time series covering long durations

• Applicable for land areas that are inaccessible or large

• Suitable for project monitoring phase


• Fuzzy boundaries between land-use systems can be hard to distinguish

• Different stages of vegetation growth/degradation can be difficult to distinguish

• Clouds can disturb the image

• If there are multiple land units that are far apart, more images are required

Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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