Learning Activities

1. Principles in Remote Sensing

principles in remote sensing


This set of tutorials teaches basic concepts in remote sensing via satellites. Learners are shown how characteristics of the satellites and onboard sensors affect the amount and quality of data collected. A sampling of ways to use the data for activities such as weather forecasting and scientific research are demonstrated. At the completion of each module, learners are given opportunities to apply what they have learned to actual data collected by NASA satelllites.

Learning Objectives:

After successfully completing these modules, students should be able to:

  • Describe the two major satellite types, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and their respective data collection capabilities.
  • Understand remote sensor settings, and how design tradeoffs affect the quality and amount of data generated.
  • Recognize a variety of data analysis techniques, and their application to real-world problem solving and research activities.


Students should have at least a high-school level math and physics background, and be familiar with introductory concepts related to remote sensing via satellites, including radiation, wavelength, and orbit types. A meteorological background is helpful but not essential.

Pedagogical Applications:

These tutorials can be used in a number of ways in various disciplines. Some suggestions are provided below.

  • Supplement meteorological training.
  • Supplement existing lessons on satellite remote sensing.
  • Support instruction on satellite instrument characteristics, and on satellite image analysis techniques.


  • A)

    Earth Observations from Satellites

    Learn about the different types of satellites and the data they produce

  • B)

    Remote Sensors and Data Collection

    Learn how sensors work and how design tradeoffs influence data quality

  • C)

    Image Processing and Analysis

    Learn various techniques for manipulating and analyzing satellite imagery