The USGS has been collaborating closely with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Mitre Corporation on the development of a full-range hyperspectral microscope to support remote sensing research. Over the past 20 years, hyperspectral microscopy has grown into a robust field of analysis for a number of applications, mostly related to medical diagnostics. Development of a hyperspectral imaging microscope is aimed at material characterization to complement traditional stand-off hyperspectral remote sensing applications.
Working in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS) and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, USGS scientists are utilizing hyperspectral data from the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) ARCHER (Airborne Real-time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance) to map submerged aquatic vegetation, along with the invasive algae Didymosphenia geminata (didymo), in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
Mars is a major focus of U.S. and international space programs with five spacecraft currently operational and actively collecting data: Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity.
Astrogeology maintains the highest quality data on the brightness of the Moon via the Lunar Calibration Program, which provides essential data for many satellite missions. These data are used to calibrate many spaceborne Earth observing instruments, including the OLI (Operational Land Imager) on Landsat 8, and the NASA flagship remote sensing instruments: VIIRS (the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) on Suomi NPP and MODIS (the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on Terra and Aqua. Lunar calibration is planned by virtually all future operational satellite missions, incl
In July 2014, USGS collected 2,000 line km of hyperspectral data in the Arctic and Nabesna areas of Alaska. The project, supported by the USGS Mineral Resources Program, will locate and characterize previously unknown areas of mineralization using airborne hyperspectral remote sensing data. The use of hyperspectral data supports the development of a strategy to more broadly evaluate mineralized zones and their environmental footprints, and to produce better geologic maps utilizing modern geophysical and geochemical analytical tools.
After a major disaster, a satellite image or a collection of aerial photography is frequently the fastest, most effective way to determine the scope and severity of the event.
In 1999, an international consortium of space agencies formed the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ as a mechanism to provide satellite data to evaluate disaster impacts in support of disaster relief worldwide. Since the Charter’s formation in 1999, its membership has grown to 15 space organizations managing more than 20 Earth-observing satellites. The data from these satellites have helped emergency managers worldwide to deal with a variety of natural and man-made disasters.
In 2013, the USGS Western Geographic Science Center’s Southwest Geographic Science Team in Flagstaff, Arizona, hosted a student intern under the sponsorship of the USGS Student Interns in Support of Native American Relations (SISNAR) program. The intern, Terri Victor, is a tribal member of the San Carlos Apache Nation and recently received a Master’s Degree in Geography at Northern Arizona University. Ms. Victor participated in a USGS Land Remote Sensing (LRS) research project aimed at developing improved capabilities to map carbon stocks in U.S.
Monitoring productivity in coastal wetlands is important due to their high carbon sequestration rates and potential role in climate change mitigation. We tested agricultural- and forest-based methods for estimating the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (f APAR) in a restored, managed wetland with a dense litter layer of non-photosynthetic vegetation. FAPAR is a key parameter for modelling gross primary productivity (GPP).
Large-scale plant productivity in coastal marshes needs to be quantified to understand marsh resilience to sea-level rise, to help define eligibility for carbon offset credits, and to monitor impacts from land use, eutrophication, and contamination. Remote monitoring of aboveground biomass of emergent wetland vegetation will help address this need. Differences in sensor spatial resolution, bandwidth, temporal frequency, and cost constrain the accuracy of biomass maps produced for management applications.