Home Page

What We Do

The Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing (DIRS) Laboratory serves as a focal point for remote sensing research and education at RIT.

The DIRS Laboratory focuses on the development of tools to extract information about the Earth from aerial and satellite imaging systems with an emphasis on the application of science and engineering to solving end-to-end remote sensing problems using a systems engineering approach. This includes design and development of imaging instruments, developing algorithms to extract information from remotely sensed systems and measurement, and modeling of the physical phenomena associated with the formation of remotely sensed images.

The DIRS Laboratory, formed more than 30 years ago, is housed within the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, an academic unit within RIT’s College of Science, and has about 40 graduate students conducting research who are supported by nine faculty and 12 full-time research and administrative staff.

DIRS also has on-going research partnerships with multiple federal agencies, large and small companies, and other academic institutions.

Contact Us


  • February 23, 2022

    side-by-side images of a mountain range, the left showing the landscape and the right showing a temperature map.

    RIT’s remote sensing experts help scientists keep an eye on the Earth

    Scientists from RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science recently helped successfully bring the new Landsat 9 satellite online and are partnering with a startup on a bold new initiative to help scientists in government and the private sector monitor changes in the Earth’s surface temperature.

  • January 31, 2022

    student research in waders in a lake with a pole and a measuring device.

    Tait Preserve becoming hotbed for interdisciplinary research

    RIT has an emerging new hotspot for interdisciplinary research about 25 minutes from the main campus. The Tait Preserve includes a 60-acre lake and a private mile of Irondequoit Creek adjacent to Ellison Park, offering endless opportunities for research, education, and conservation activities.

  • January 15, 2021

    researcher setting up a drone on a roadway.

    Research takes flight at Tait Preserve

    Scientists began conducting research at the Tait Preserve of RIT for the first time this summer. Researchers from the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory were the first to use the site, collecting data using imaging technology flown on unmanned aerial systems, or drones.

Exterior view of the Chester F. Carlson building

Mission, Vision, and Value


To educate students and conduct research in the science, engineering and application of physics-based quantitative remote sensing and digital imaging systems (source-to-information) to aid in the solution of real-world problems.


Be known as the university laboratory of choice for education and research related to the physics-based phenomenology, modeling, collection, calibration, and analysis of remote sensing and digital imagery.


Our core values include integrity, dedication, respect, and commitment to excellence in our educational, research and professional activities.