Many targets that remote sensing scientists encounter when conducting their research experiments do not lend themselves to laboratory measurement of their surface optical properties. Removal of these targets from the field can change their biotic condition, disturb the surface composition, and change the moisture content of the sample. These parameters, as well as numerous others, have a marked influence on surface optical properties such as spectral and bi-directional emissivity. This necessitates the collection of emissivity spectra in the field. The propagation of numerous devices for the measurement of midwave and longwave emissivity in the field has occurred in recent years. How good a re these devices and how does the accuracy of the spectra they produce compare to the “tried and true” laboratory devices that have been around for decades? A number of temperature/emissivity separation algorithms will be demonstrated on data collected with a field portable Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer and the merits and resulting accuracy compared to laboratory spectra made of these identical samples. A brief look at off-nadir view geometries will also be presented to alert scientists to the possible sources of error in these spectra that may result when using sensing systems that do not look straight down on targets or when their nadir looking sensor is looking at a tilted target.

Publication Date



"Comparison of field and laboratory collected midwave and longwave infrared emissivity spectra / data reduction techniques," Proceedings of the SPIE, Image Exploitation and Target Recognition, Algorithms for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery VII, Vol. 4381. The International Society of Optical Engineers. Held in Orlando, Florida: April 2001. This paper is made available as an electronic reprint with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited. ISSN:0277-786X Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus