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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3190 Earth Observations from Space

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Prof Andrew Shepherd
Email: A.Shepherd@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

'A' level Mathematics OR Physics OR equivalent.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Remote sensing of the Earth's environment from space has revolutionised the ways in which we measure and perceive our planet. Earth observation data is central to many exciting areas of scientific research and to operational monitoring. This module will give you an understanding of the basic principles of how radiation is emitted, transmitted and absorbed in the Earth's atmosphere. You will be familiar with the main techniques by which space-borne satellites can observe the chemical composition and properties of the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The module will then discuss how remote sensing has been applied to study environmental phenomena such as El Nino, the retreat of ice caps, the Antarctic ozone hole and natural hazards. This module is taught in semester 2 and is assessed by a two hour examination and two assessed question sheets.

Objectives

On completion of this module, the student will understand the basic principles of how radiation is emitted, transmitted and absorbed in the Earth's atmosphere. The student will be familiar with the main techniques by which space-borne satellites can observe the chemical composition and properties of Earth's atmosphere and surface. The techniques will be illustrated and emphasised by case studies of past and present satellite missions. The student will understand how to design a satellite-based instrument to make specific geophysical observations.

Skills outcomes
The module places considerable emphasis on:
- recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles;
- analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research;
- collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses;
- applying knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems;
- receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual numerical, verbal, graphical);
- developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills);
- identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;
- developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.

The module places moderate emphasis on:
- using the Internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information.

The module places some emphasis on:
- recognising the moral and ethnical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct;
- communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical form.


Syllabus

1. Introduction.
2. Electromagnetic radiation. Absorption/emission of radiation. Radiative transfer.
3. Methods of remote sensing.
4. Observations of atmospheric temperature. Infra-red and microwave radiation in the atmosphere.
5. Observations of clouds.
6. Observations of atmospheric composition.
7. Remote sensing of land/ice/ocean surface. Altimetry and interferometry.
8. Cryosphere.
9. Landsat observations.
10. Current missions: e.g. ESA ENVISAT, NASA A-Train, Cryosat.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture151.0015.00
Tutorial21.002.00
Private study hours83.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Preparing tutorial work (31 hours); private study (31 hours); exam preparation (20 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Via tutorial session and feedback on question sheets

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,500 words, including tables and figures.30.00
Computer ExerciseQuestion sheet10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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