Arid lands applications of remote sensing should be developed to meet the need for low cost management information over vast expanses of unsettled lands. Remote sensing techniques, in contrast to conventional survey methods, have the potential to overcome the manpower and fiscal restrictions that limit large area monitoring. The most crucial environmental problems that relate to drylands, such as desertification and climatic change, recently became a challenge for remote sensing investigations.
The Remote Sensing Laboratory, established in 1988, is currently part of the Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The laboratory aims at two main goals
- Advance scientific theories, methodologies, and applications in remote sensing, image processing, and geographic information system (GIS) management of the earth's resources.
- Generate a scientific environment leading to the development of scientific exchange beneficial to the various disciplines of the institute. Satellite, aerial imagery, and ground data are applied to environmental problems with special emphasis on arid and semi-arid regions.
The recent initiative of the Laboratory is aimed at establishing a super-site at the Sede Boker Campus in order to assess uncertainties for various satellite-derived products. Methodology involves comparisons of the remote-observed data with in-situ measured data. The super-site will be connected to several worldwide network systems (such as AERONET, SolRad-Net, MPLNET, etc.) and a large variety of remote sensing instruments will be concentrated at the campus for measuring atmospheric and surface properties.