On Campus

Singled Out



Worth Noting

From the Archives

President's Message


Past Issues


RIT Home Search Index Directories Info-Center


1 (left)MISI HSI Irondequoit Bay
2 (above)AVIRIS HSI Charlotte Pier, Rochester
3 (below)MISI HSI Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

4 (above left) Landsat 7 panchromatic high-resolution imagery of Rochester
5 (above right) Typical Landsat 7 coverage of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie
6 (below) Landsat 7 detail of Niagara River


    Researchers at RIT are taking a close look at the Great Lakes' water quality using a combination of remote sensing imagery and modeling of lake dynamics. John Schott, director of the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory (DIRS) at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, is one of 14 researchers on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite research team. DIRS scientists are investigating water temperature trends in the Great Lakes.

    Images taken by RIT's airborne Modular Imaging Spectrometer Instrument (MISI) (1, 3) verify thermal data from NASA's Landsat 7 satellite (4-7). The coverage area of a typical Landsat image captures parts of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie (5). A composite color temperature map of Lake Ontario shows warm areas in red and cold in blue (7).

    Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) sensors collect multichannel, narrow spectral band imagery spanning from the visible to the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (1, 2, 3). A joint project between RIT and Eastman Kodak Company uses MISI and Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) (2) imagery to determine if HSI technology can measure water quality concentrations such as chlorophyll.

    While remote sensing can detect surface temperature, four-dimensional (x, y, z and time) hydrodynamic models can provide scientists with a more complete understanding of the Great Lakes' internal mechanisms (8, 9). The yellow sections in the top row of figure 8, for instance, represent a thermal bar, a warm ring of near-shore water that forms in the early spring. As the season grows warmer, this ring moves to the deeper open waters. RIT's imaging scientists calibrae the hydrodynamic model with Advanced Very High Radiometric Resolution (AVHRR) satelite imagery (10).
7 (left) Landsat 7 composite temperature map of Lake Ontario
8 (below) Three-dimensional model of remote sensing data of Lake Ontario
9 (above) Three-dimensional model of remote sensing data of Niagara River plume
10 (below) AVHRR satellite image of Great Lakes Basin

Back to Top