Remote Sensing Lab


The Negev Desert (Israel) is of considerable interest in calibrating/validating of satellites’ data for many scientists around the world for the following reasons:

  1. The region is characterized by different types of aerosols – desert dust, maritime, as well as anthropogenic pollution;
  2. Bright, homogeneous, and remote desert areas within the Negev can be used for vicarious absolute calibration of spaceborne sensors.

Within this framework, the activities of the Remote Sensing Laboratory are:

  • In-situ measurements of ground reflectance and atmospheric characteristics during the satellite overpass.




  • Conduction of bi-directional reflectance measurements for computing factors and distribution functions.



  • Running radiative transfer code accounting for multiple scattering.
  • Computation of top-of-atmosphere radiance in sensor’s spectral bands.
  • Image processing for the assessment of the calibration site reflectance.



The Remote Sensing Laboratory has considerable experience and has already been involved in characterizing and calibrating several satellites’ sensors such as SeaWiFS, MODIS, SPOT, and the Israeli Ofek.


Karnieli, A., Ben-Dor, E., Bayarjargal Yu. and Lugasi, R. 2004. Radiometric saturation of Landsat-7 ETM+ data over the Negev Desert (Israel): problems and solutions. Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation5, 219-237.

Chapters in Books:
Gilead, U. and Karnieli, A. 2004. Locating potential vicarious calibration sites for high-spectral resolution sensors in the Israeli Negev Desert by GIS analysis. In: Moran, S.A. and Budge, A.M. (Eds.) Post Calibration of Satellite Sensors, A.A. Balkema Publishers, Leiden, 181-187.
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