Remote Sensing

Remote sensing (satellite and ground-based) is increasingly being used as technique to probe the Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces. Probing of other planets is accomplished largely by satellite remote sensing. Given national priorities in such areas as climate and global change, the interest in remote sensing will only increase with time.

Remote sensing is a relatively new academic subject, with few universities having any sort of an organized curriculum. The purpose of formalizing the CU remote sensing curriculum is to coordinate curricula across campus so that a coherent curriculum in remote sensing can be provided to complement and supplement the student’s regular degree program. An additional purpose is to encourage multidisciplinary education of the students in the area of remote sensing.

Graduate students, research staff, and faculty work on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the theory of remote sensing to its application. These applications include: use of satellite remote sensing to determine ocean surface temperature and heat fluxes; use of surface radar to improve the determination of clouds and precipitation from satellite; determination of surface biological characteristics and productivity from satellite; mapping of land use from satellite; mapping of surface landform and topographical features; searching for locations of buried artifacts; use of surface radar to determine upper atmosphere wind motions; and aircraft remote sensing to assess the validity of satellite retrieval algorithms of surface and atmospheric characteristics.

Certificate Program

Remote Sensing Certificate

A Certificate in Remote Sensing will be awarded based on a written request by the student to the remote sensing graduate chairman, provided that the following requirements have been met:

  • All students must take at least three Remote Sensing core courses (passed with grade B or better) and register for ATOC 7500/ASEN 6310 Remote Sensing Seminar for at least one semester. This class is given once each year. Most remote sensing core courses are offered once each year.

The Remote Sensing graduate courses are: 

  • ATOC 7500/ASEN 6210: Remote Sensing Seminar
  • ASEN/ATOC 5235: Introduction to Atmosphercic Radiative Transfer and Remote Sensing (previously offered as "Remote Sensing of the Atmospheres and Oceans")
  • ASEN 5337: Remote Sensing Data Analysis
  • ASEN 5168: Remote Sensing Instrumentation
  • ASEN 5245/ECEN 5254: Radar and Remote Sensing
  • ECEN 5274: Radar Science and Techniques
  • GEOG/GEOL 5093: Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • GEOL 5240: Remote Sensing Image Analysis
  • GEOG 6181/EBIO 6440: Remote Sensing Field Methods
  • GEOL 6340: Remote Sensing of Planetary Surfaces
  • ECEN 5234:  Remote Sensing Signals and Systems
  • ECEN 5264:  Electromagnetic Absorption, Scattering and Propagation
  • ECEN 5134:  Electromagnetic Radiation and Antennas
  • ECEN 5634:  Microwave and RF Measurements

For more information or to contact the Remote Sensing Graduate Committee, write Remote Sensing Graduate Chairman Professor Bill Emery, 
431 UCB; call 303-492-8591; e-mail; or go to Certificate Request Form.