Progress in the remote sensing of land surface temperature and ground emissivity using NOAA-AVHRR data
The extensive requirement of landsurface temperature (LST) for environmental studies and management activities of the Earth's resources has made the remote sensing of LST an important academic topic during the last two decades. Many studies have been devoted to establishing the methodology for the retrieval of LST from channels 4 and 5 of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data. Various split-window algorithms have been reviewed and compared in the literature to understand their differences. Different algorithms differ in both their forms and the calculation of their coefficients. The most popular form of split-window algorithm is Ts=T4+A(T4-T 5)+B , where Ts is land surface temperature, T4 and T5 are brightness temperatures of AVHRR channels 4 and 5, A and B are coefficients in relation to atmospheric effects, viewing angle and ground emissivity. For the actual determination of the coefficients, no matter the complexity of their calculation formulae in various algorithms, only two ways are practically applicable, due tothe unavailability of many required data on atmospheric conditions and ground emissivities in situ satellite pass. Ground data measurements can be used to calibrate the brightness temperature obtained by remote sensing into the actual LST through regression analysis on a sample representing the studied region. The other way is standard atmospheric profile simulationusing computer software such as LOWTRAN7. Ground emissivity has a considerable effect on the accuracy of retrieving LST from remote sensing data. Generally, it is rational to assume an emissivity of 0.96 for most ground surfaces. However, the difference of ground emissivity between channels 4 and 5 also has a significant impact on the accuracy of LST retrieval. By combining the data of AVHRR channels 3, 4 and 5, the difference can be directly calculated from remote sensing data. Therefore, much more study is required on how to accurately determine the coefficients of split-window algorithms in the application of remote sensing to examine LST change and distribution in the real world.
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