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CEG1706 : Principles of Remote Sensing

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rachel Gaulton
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Lectures – PiP on campus
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion20:451:30Completion of online quiz assessments (formative and summative assessment)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials90:406:00Online/Canvas - short lecture recordings, guided readings. interactive tasks weekly non-synch online
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Exam completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00Computer cluster practical session introducing image processing - PiP on campus
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading541:0054:00Additional self-directed reading, based on module reading list and lecture references.
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 Q&A sessions to address queries regarding module material or assessment - synchronous online
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study200:3010:00Preparation of lecture notes and revision for exam.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to exam and revision session - PiP on campus
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Module Introduction talk - PiP on campus
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Specialist knowledge, understanding and background theory is primarily taught through lectures, provided as a mixture of pre-recorded material and interactive tasks covering theory, and in-person lectures, with 2 workshops allowing discussion and integration of key concepts and skills. Supported by practical sessions that build on this understanding and allow the development of skills in image processing and interpretation in more applied contexts.

PiP activities will take place online synchronous if required due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A80Exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M20Online assessed quiz (image processing)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MImage interpretation quiz
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. One online quiz, undertaken during practical sessions, will be used to assess competencies in image processing whilst a formative online quiz with immediate feedback will be undertaken during a visual image interpretation workshop to ensure understanding of key concepts prior to assessed practical work.

If in-person invigilated examinations cannot be held, an open-book exam will be set as a coursework exercise.

Reading Lists