Night-time Imaging and Video from Space

Night Lights of the World. Image credits: NASA and NASA Earth Observatory.

Night Lights of the World. Image credits: NASA and NASA Earth Observatory.

With the advent of very high resolution satellites in the last decade or so, the conventional ideas in remote sensing are undergoing a rapid change. High-resolution imaging satellites working in the optical and NIR bands are increasingly being operated even in night-time, not to study the thermal emitted IR, but the artificial light sources by humans. In the past decades, the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites have been used for night-time imaging of man-made objects and features, albeit at a low resolution. Imagesat International offers high-resolution night-time imagery through its EROS-B satellite. NASA provides a nice world map of night lights, which shows hubs of activity at night on the Earth. Chris Elvidge of NOAA is a well-known name in the study of night-time Earth, and here is a great feature article on years of research done by him. For some more awe-inspiring night-time images, see NASA’s Earth Observatory Night Lights feature page.

Skybox Imaging is now delivering high-resolution images and video, both at day and night-time. Take a look here.

Night Lights of Asia and Africa. Image credits: NASA and NASA Earth Observatory.

Night Lights of Asia and Africa. Image credits: NASA and NASA Earth Observatory.

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About WQ

I received my PhD (2013) in Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science at the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, under a Fulbright fellowship. Currently, I'm an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Space Science at Institute of Space Technology (IST), Islamabad, Pakistan, where I have been a founding member of the Geospatial Research & Education Lab (GREL). My general expertise is in Remote Sensing where I have worked with various remote sensing datasets through my career, while for my PhD thesis I specifically worked on Remote Sensing using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and Oceanography, working extensively on development of techniques to measure ocean surface currents from space-borne SAR intensity images and interferometric data. My research interests are: Remote sensing, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery and interferometric data processing & analysis, Visible/Infrared/High-resolution satellite image processing & analysis, Oceanography, Earth system study and modelling, LIDAR data processing and analysis, Scientific programming. I am a reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing, Forest Ecosystems, GIScience & Remote Sensing, Journal of African Earth Sciences, and Italian Journal of Agronomy. I am an alumnus of Pakistan National Physics Talent Contest (NPTC), an alumnus of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, a Fulbright alumnus, and the Pakistan National Point of Contact for Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). I was an invited speaker at the TEDxIslamabad event held in Nov., 2014. I've served as mentor in the NASA International Space App Challenge Islamabad events in April 2015 and April 2016.

One thought on “Night-time Imaging and Video from Space

  1. Pingback: Night-time Satellite Imagery Helps Identify Rural Electrification | EarthEnable

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