chapter  1
28 Pages

Remote Sensing of Vegetation with Landsat Imagery

The U.S. Landsat program is one of the most successful remote-sensing programs in the world. The launch of the Landsat series of satellites marked the beginning of a new era in remote sensing (Williams, Goward, and Arvidson 2006). Due to the critical role played by vegetation in the terrestrial ecosystem and the emphasis of Landsat sensors on vegetation reectance characteristics, Landsat data greatly enhanced our understanding of the dynamics of vegetation and its functions in the terrestrial ecosystem (Cohen and Goward 2004). The rst Landsat satellite, initially called the Earth Resource Technology Satellite, was launched in 1972. To date, seven Landsat satellites have been launched (Table 1.1). Except Landsat 6, all other satellites in the series were successfully put in orbit. Table 1.2 shows the history of sensors deployed on the Landsat satellites. The rst three Landsat satellites had similar onboard sensors, including return beam vidicon (RBV) and multispectral scanners (MSSs). Starting with Landsat 4, thematic mapper (TM) sensors were deployed and RBV was removed. The TM sensors have 30 × 30 m spatial resolution for reective

CONTENTS

1.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................3 1.2 Spectral Information of Vegetation in Landsat Thematic

Mapper/Enhanced Thematic Mapper+ Bands ..................................................................5 1.3 Applications ............................................................................................................................6