Skip to main content


CEG1706 : Principles of Remote Sensing

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rachel Gaulton
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module introduces students to the physical principles behind satellite and airborne remote sensing techniques and photogrammetry. An understanding is developed of the nature and properties of electromagnetic radiation, characteristics of sensors and platforms and basics of digital image processing. Students will gain an appreciation of the remote sensing workflow for applications within the geosciences and practical exercises allow the opportunity to gain familiarity with remotely sensed data sources and image processing software.

Outline Of Syllabus

Nature of electromagnetic radiation and interactions with the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. Platforms, sensors and resolution. Introduction to photography, radar and laser scanning. Remote sensing data acquisition and processing workflows. Calibration and validation. Digital image processing techniques including image display and enhancement, filtering, pre-processing and classification techniques for thematic mapping.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Lectures – PiP on campus
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:002:00Completion of online quiz assessments
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials90:406:00Online/Canvas - short lecture recordings, guided readings. interactive tasks weekly non-synch online
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading531:0053:00Additional self-directed reading, based on module reading list and lecture references.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00Computer cluster practical session introducing image processing - PiP on campus
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Workshops: Image interpretation; Applied earth observation – PiP on campus
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery40:302:00Drop-in sessions in computer cluster to support self-guided image processing - PiP on campus
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study200:3010:00Preparation of lecture notes and revision for exam.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Module Introduction talk - PiP on campus
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to exam and revision session - synchronous online
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Specialist knowledge, understanding and background theory is primarily taught through lectures, supported by practical sessions that build on this understanding and allow the development of skills in image processing and interpretation in more applied contexts.

Alternative will be offered to students who are unable to be present in person.

Students should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70Exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment2M15Online assessed quiz (image interpretation)
Computer assessment2M15Online assessed quiz (image processing)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2M2 in-practical / workshop quizzes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An application/case study-focused examination will be used to assess understanding of theoretical concepts in remote sensing, image processing methods and operational considerations. Two short online quizzes will be used to assess competencies in image processing and interpretation, developed during a workshop and linked practical sessions. Formative Canvas quizzes within practical sessions that are not assessed will be used to provide immediate feedback on understanding of key image processing and interpretation concepts. If in-person invigilated examinations cannot be held, an open-book exam will be set as a coursework exercise.

Reading Lists