Demonstrating Landsat's new potential to monitor coastal and inland waters

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Title: Demonstrating Landsat's new potential to monitor coastal and inland waters
Author: Gerace, Aaron
Abstract: The Operational Land Imager (OLI) is a new Landsat sensor being developed by the joint USGS-NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) that exhibits the potential to be a state-of-the-art instrument for studying inland and coastal waters. With upgrades such as a new Coastal Aerosol band, 12 bit quantization, and improved signal-to-noise, OLI will be spectrally and radiometrically superior to its predecessors. When considering Landsat's already high 30 meter spatial resolution, coupled with the fact that its data is free to the community, the OLI sensor may prove to be more valuable than any other environmental imaging satellite to date. The first part of this research investigates the potential for the next Landsat instrument to be used to determine the major constituents contained in water. An OLI sensor model is designed and its ability to retrieve water constituents from space is compared to existing technologies. To support this effort, two over-water atmospheric compensation methods are developed which will enable OLI data to be used in this constituent retrieval process. The ability to characterize material transport in coastal regions is an ongoing effort in the remote sensing community and is essential to determining the environmental processes taking place in, and ultimately the health of, the water. When moderate resolution thermal data is used in conjunction with high resolution reflective data, such as the 30 meter resolution data from OLI, a three dimensional characterization of the water can be developed. In the second part of this work, a model of the Genesee River plume in Rochester, NY is simulated and the ability to calibrate the model with remotely sensed thermal data is demonstrated.
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Date: 2010-05

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