Submitted to: Remote Sensing Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2000
Publication Date: October 12, 2000
Interpretive Summary: Remote sensing of plants and soils, using techniques that derive information from multiple view angles, has been intensively researched by some groups over the last decade. The promise of these techniques has not been realized and future directions for research and development are still being formulated by the international bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) community. Five courses of action for suggested future activities include 1) identifying key scientific questions that multiangle remote sensing provides improved results over traditional spectral-only techniques with example case studies for illustration, 2) exploring model inversion-based approaches to information retrieval including data fusion methods that are highly relevant to climate, environmental and ecological studies, 3) continued development of simple models for satellite data analysis, 4) development of a benchmark validation database, and 5) strengthening education programs and other information diffusion activities. Multiangle remote sensing should provide better information to anyone studying or managing environmental resources, including producers and strategic decision makers.
Multiangle remote sensing has many new applications in the study of the earth's land, ocean, and atmosphere. For land studies, multiangle remote sensing samples the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) of land surfaces. The modeling and observation of land surface BRDF's has thus been an area of active research for over a decade. The International Forum on BRDF (IFB) was organized in December, 1998, in San Francisco to summarize recent progress in BRDF research, and to identify important future research topics and determine their priorities. Five primary courses of action for the BRDF community were identified during the IFB. These include (1) identifying a set of key scientific questions to which multiangle remote sensing provides qualitative and quantitative advances over more traditional approaches, as well as organizing case studies to show the value added by multiangle remote sensing; (2) exploring different inversion techniques, including data fusion and assimilation, to estimate land surface variables that are highly relevant to climate, environmental and ecological studies; (3) continuing the development of simpler BRDF models for analyzing satellite observations; (4) developing a benchmark validation database; and (5) strengthening graduate education programs and outreach activities.