You are here

ECE PhD Defense: "Atmospheric Compensation and Surface Temperature and Emissivity Retrieval with LWIR Hyperspectral Imagery," Michael Pieper


442 Dana

July 13, 2017 11:00 am
July 13, 2017 11:00 am

Accurate estimation or retrieval of surface emissivity spectra from long-wave infrared (LWIR) or Thermal Infrared (TIR) hyperspectral imaging data acquired by airborne or space-borne sensors is necessary for many scientific and defense applications. The radiance measured by the sensor is the ground radiance, which is a function of the emissivity and temperature, modified by the atmosphere. Thus the emissivity retrieval process consists of two interwoven steps: atmospheric compensation (AC) to retrieve the ground radiance from the measured at-aperture radiance and temperature-emissivity separation (TES) to separate the temperature and emissivity from the ground radiance.

In-scene AC (ISAC) algorithms use blackbody-like materials in the scene, which have a linear relationship between their ground radiances and at-aperture radiances determined by the atmospheric transmission and upwelling radiance. Using a clear reference channel to estimate the ground radiance, a linear fitting of the at-aperture radiance and estimated ground radiance is done to estimate the atmospheric parameters. TES algorithms for hyperspectral imaging data assume that the emissivity spectra for solids are smooth compared to the sharp features added by the atmosphere. The ground temperature and emissivity are found by finding the temperature that provides the smoothest emissivity estimate.

In this thesis we develop models to investigate the sensitivity of AC and TES to the basic assumptions enabling their performance. ISAC assumes that there are perfect blackbody pixels in a scene and that there is a clear channel, which is never the case. The developed ISAC model explains how the quality of blackbody-like pixels affect the shape of atmospheric estimates and the clear channel assumption affects their magnitude. Emissivity spectra for solids usually have some roughness. The TES model identifies four sources of error: the smoothing error of the emissivity spectrum, the emissivity error from using the incorrect temperature, and the errors caused by sensor noise and wavelength calibration. The ways these errors interact determines the overall TES performance. Since the AC and TES processes are interwoven, any errors in AC are transferred to TES and the final temperature and emissivity estimates. Combining the two models, shape errors caused by the blackbody assumption are transferred to the emissivity estimates, where magnitude errors form the clear channel assumption are compensated by TES temperature induced emissivity errors. The ability for the temperature induced error to compensate for such atmospheric errors makes it difficult to determine the correct atmospheric parameters for a scene. With these models we are able to determine the expected quality of estimated emissivity spectra based on the quality of blackbody-like materials on the ground, the emissivity of the materials being searched for, and the properties of the sensor. The quality of material emissivity spectra is a key factor in determining detection performance for a material in a scene.

  • Professor Vinay Ingle (Advisor)
  • Dr. Dimitris Manolakis (Advisor
  • Professor Charles DiMarzio