3.2 Tutorial on Remote Sensing for Capacity Building

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 8:45 AM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Kristina Katsaros, Northwest Research Associates, Inc., Redmond, WA; and G. Levy, A. Bentamy, S. King, J. F. R. Gower, and C. Wilson
Manuscript (5.6 MB)

Since 1992 The Pan Ocean Remote Sensing Conference Association, PORSEC Ass., has sponsored a short course or tutorial in association with its bi-annual conferences in several different countries, that  were looking to develop their use of remotely sensed data for operations or research in meteorology or oceanography. The goal was to enhance scientific and technical capacity in this field in several member countries of PORSEC Ass. This was the vision of the founder Prof. Y. Sugimori of Tokai and Chiba Universities, Japan .

Over the past 24 years and 13 PORSEC’s, the tutorial has been held in Australia (1994), Brazil (2016), Canada (1996), Chile (2004), China (1998, 2008), India (2000, 2012), Indonesia (2002, 2014), Japan (1992),  South Korea (2006), Taiwan (2010). The courses have focused on existing instruments in space and methods of analysis and presentation. The work of the student participants have included some practical exercises with a range of data and software packages. The early availability of infrared remote sensing of sea surface temperature, SST, over the ocean has found much practical use in finding ocean fronts for help in fisheries in both the developed and developing countries. The direct read-out of the infrared data has made this convenient. Using the polar orbiting Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, AVHRR,  and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) have become staples at all the tutorials. Similarly, instruction in using passive and active microwave data such as from radiometers observing atmospheric moisture, clouds and precipitation and scatterometers for measuring surface winds over the ocean are now also routine. Instruments used in this instruction have been the Special sSensor Microwave Imager, SSM/I,  and especially the U.S. SEAWINDS scatterometer and the European scatterometers on the European Remote Sensing Satellites, ERS1 and ERS2 and the Advanced Microwave Instrument, AMI on the operational meteorological satellite, METOP.  Use of altimetry for ocean topography and determination of currents has also been included. Ocean color has been discussed in the course over the years with emphasis on detection of intense plankton blooms in coastal areas. Theoretical background, instrument details and the products  from each instrument have all been discussed and examples given how the data can be used in operational settings and for research. A bit more esoteric, the Synthetic Aperture Radar data from the ESA satellites have also been discussed.  A special feature has been a major lecture on proper writing and presentation of technical results given by well-known editor Arthur Cracknell of Scotland. Students have received a written syllabus to keep. This aspect of technical work, we consider especially important in a tutorial of this sort.

Each course has received about 20-30 students mostly from the country where the conference was taking place, but we have made an effort to include as many students as finances would allow from other nations, typically a half dozen. Support for students to come to the course has been obtained from government agencies in the US, Canada, Europe and usually from local institutions. Most of our students have been graduate students, since a certain level of background is necessary to benefit from the remote sensing information, but we have also included young professionals, who would like to enlarge their expertise.

We believe that this effort has been quite effective in that some of our “students” have also participated in later PORSEC’s and have found a cohort of colleagues for future interactions.  This aspect of developing a network of colleagues we consider to be about 50% of the total benefit of this program in addition to the interactions with well-known and experienced scientist in the ever advancing field of remote sensing in Earth sciences.

Supplementary URL: https://porsec.nwra.com/index.php?page=CapacityBuilding

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