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Thermal Infrared Satellite Images and Their Application in Regional Planning (Presented with a Map of Surface Temperatures of NE-Zealand/Denmark)

Eberhard Parlow
Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography
Vol. 67, No. 3/4 (1985), pp. 285-293
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
DOI: 10.2307/521105
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/521105
Page Count: 9
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Thermal Infrared Satellite Images and Their Application in Regional Planning (Presented with a Map of Surface Temperatures of NE-Zealand/Denmark)
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Abstract

By means of remote sensing techniques, using the so-called thermal infrared (wave-length 8-14 μm), a pattern of the surface temperatures of a landscape is available. This mosaic of surface temperatures leads to conclusions of the climatic conditions, e.g. the distribution of air temperature. The first satellite which produced thermal images of such a good geometric resolution necessary for mesoscale investigations, was the HCMM-satellite (Heat Capacity Mapping Mission of NASA). In the future a better resolution will be available using the IR-channel of LANDSAT-TM (120 m×120 m). The segment presented in this paper is part of a HCMM-scene from July 31, 1978 at 12.28 GMT and shows NE-Zealand at the time of maximum surface temperatures. For the exact localization of each pixel a rectification according to the geometry of topographical maps is necessary. In this case the rectification was carried out using an optical equipment, the Stereo-Zoom-Transfer-Scope (BAUSCH + LOMB, Rochester/USA). This equipment makes it possible to synchronize the different scales of satellite image and topographic map as well as to rectify the image. The interpretation of the thermal image demonstrates the coherence between special temperature classes and surface coverage (e.g. town center versus periphery, small towns and villages versus forests and arable land). The application of satellite IR-images enables the local regional planning to take these easily accessible climatological facts into its consideration and policy.

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