Remote sensing

Remote sensing is a technique that enables to observe the radiation scattered or emitted by the Earth surface. Satellite-based remote sensing allows regular, repetitive, accurate observations of nearly the whole planet, at various spatial and temporal scales, in several wavelength fields.

Such observations render the nature, state, temporal and spatial variations of the properties of the objects at the Earth surface. By way of example, water-covered areas, roughness, soil moisture, changes in the nature of land, density and phenological evolution of the vegetation cover, sand winds, are information included in these observations. Nevertheless, these observations usually combine together, making them more or less difficult to extract from the raw data transmitted by satellites. The science of remote sensing consists in interpreting and processing the series of spatial and temporal images in order to extract such parameters, qualitatively or quantitatively. Desertification is a phenomenon of irreversible land degradation. It results from complex processes linked to the coupled and joint evolution of natural and human-induced factors. The beginning, development and results of such processes are materialised by land surface states and their evolution.

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