Lecture 2
History and development of
Remote Sensing
History of Remote Sensing
• Ca. 1030 AD – AlHaitham (Al Hazen)
develops Camera Obscura to
observe solar eclipse.
Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura in San Francisco
History of Remote Sensing
1614 - Angelo Sala, an Italian chemist, discovers that silver nitrate
darkens when exposed to sunlight.
1666 - Issac Newton disperses white light using a prism; discovers
the optical spectrum.
1777 - Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swedish chemist, found that silver
salts darkened by exposure to sunlight could be rinsed off with
ammonia. The unexposed silver chromate crystals are left behind to
form a fixed image, a precursor to modern photographic film.
1827 - The first photograph (Joseph Niepce)
A window view of the French countryside
History of Remote Sensing
1839 – Daguerre, a French photochemist, invents Daguerrotype
(polished silver plate, mercury vapors and sodium thiosulfate or
hypo) to fix the image and make it permanent.
1839 - William Henry Fox Talbot,
an English scientist, invents a new
system of imaging on Ag2CrO4treated paper and using a fixative
solution of NaCl.
He was the first person to employ a
negative positive process.
A patient coachman - 1840
1830s – The invention of stereoscopes!
“Stereographs“, i.e., two pictures of the same scene that were slightly
offset and mounted side-by-side, were used.
Invented by a British physician, Sir Charles Wheatstone (1838).
1855 – The theory of additive colours
James Clerk Maxwell, a scottish physicist, describes color additive
theory for the producing color photographs
1858 - The first aerial photograph
Gasper Felix
Tournachon “Nadar”
Jensen, 2000
(Copyright Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.)
1862 – Balloon-based observations
Lowe in the Battle of Fair Oaks Civil war
(Union Army Balloon Corps commander
Thaddeus S. C.).
1900 – Revelation of 'quanta' and 'black body radiation'
Max Plank, WilhelmWien, et al.
1903 - Breast-mounted camera for pigeons
(invented by Julius Neubronner)
Copyright Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany
Aerial reconnaissance
1908 - Airplane invented in 1903 and first photos from airplane
were taken by Wilbur Wright over France
1914 - 1919 – WW I
Graflex aerial reconnaissance camera (1915)
History of Remote Sensing
1930 - Testing of aerial IR film from balloons.
1934 - Photogrammetric Engineering first published. American
Society of Photogrammetry founded, later renamed as
Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. The
Society was again renamed, and is now the American Society
of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).
1936 - Albert W. Stevens, an American balloonist and aerial
photographer takes the first photograph of the actual curvature
of the earth - from a free balloon at an altitude of 72,000 feet.
1940 - World War II brought about more sophisticated techniques
in aerial photography.
1962 - Cuba missile crisis
Lockheed U2
(copyright NASA and Lockheed Martin, Inc.)
October 14, 1962 – Cuba (From U2)
Late 1960's - Gemini and Apollo Space photography.
1972 – LANDSAT 1 Launched
1972-73 Skylab with series of experiments with sensors.
1975 Landsat-2
1978 Seasat launched with SAR system (failed after 99 days)
1978 Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM).
1978 Landsat-3 was launched
1979 Nimbus-9 was launched.
1982 Landsat-4 was launched with TM sensor system
1984 Landsat-5
1993 Landsat-6 with ETM (launch failure)
Landsat-7 with ETM+
1999 – ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission
and Reflection Radiometer )
SPOT (Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre ) Series
1986 SPOT-1 satellite was launched
1990 SPOT-2 launched
1993 SPOT-3
1998 SPOT-4
2002 SPOT-5
Indian Remote Sensing Satellites
1988 IRS-1A
1991 IRS-1B
1995 IRS-1C
1997 IRS-1D
1999 IRS-P4 (Oceansat)
2003 Resourcesat
2005 Cartosat-1
2007 Cartosat-2
2008 Chandrayaan-1
2009 Cartosat- 2A
2009 Cartonsat 2B
EOS Satellites
1999 – Terra Satellite
2002 - Aqua Satellite
Satellite with High Resolution Sensors
1999 – IKONOS
2000 – QuickBird
2003 – OrbView-3
Web reference:
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