Applications of Airborne Remote Sensing Technology

by Ralph W. Kiefer, (M.ASCE), Associate Professor of Civil Engineer; University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI,
James P. Scherz, (M.ASCE), Associate Professor of Civil Engineer; University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI,

Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 1, Pg. 57-80

Document Type: Journal Paper


Aerial photography has been used for nearly a century. Recent developments in aerial photography, such as color film, color infrared film, and multiband photographic systems, have greatly increased the amount of useful information obtainable from aerial photographs. Remote sensing instruments that operate in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum from the human eye and photographic sensors can detect many things beyond the scope of human and photographic sensors. Thermal imagery can detect thermal pollution entering streams. Side-looking airborne radar can map terrain day or night, almost without regard for weather conditions. Remote sensing instruments having civil engineering applications are described herein. The emphasis is on photography, thermal imagery, multispectral imagery, and side-looking airborne radar. Applications of airborne remote sensing technology to soils mapping, water pollution detection and monitoring, and urban and regional planning are illustrated.

Subject Headings: Aerial photography | Water pollution | Photography | Thermal pollution | Remote sensing | Human factors | Probe instruments | Radar

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