Center for Earth Observation

...supporting the remote sensing needs of the University

Field Equipment

Several instruments related to remote sensing are available for use at Yale Center for Earth Observation (YCEO). Yale students or faculty interested in using these devices for research or training should contact a member of the YCEO staff to inquire about availability.

Field equipment at the Center include:


Portable Field Spectrometer

The ASD FieldSpec ProTM is a portable 512 channel made by Advanced Spectral Devices (ASD) can be used (with a white reference block) to determine the reflectivity spectrum of objects in the field or in the laboratory. The spectral range is 350 to 2500nm. These data can be used to mimic different satellite sensors or to compute broad band albedo. The instrument can also be used with a hemispheric receiver to measure the sky irradiance.





Infrared Capable Camcorder/Camera

The Sony DCR-HC90TM camcorder can record videos (onto a tape) or still photographs (onto a memory card). Using its NightShot function, along with an "IR-pass/VIS-block" filter, it can take videos or photographs in the NIR range. The camcorder also has a built-in NIR illuminator for taking pictures "in the dark". Using the Smooth Interval Recording feature, it can take time-lapse video. See Dr. Ron Smith's comparison of visible and near infrared images using this camera.




Non-contact Thermometer

The Raytek STTM20 Pro Non-contact Thermometer is used to remotely measure temperature by sensing the emitted, transmitted or reflected energy of a surface in the 8 - 14 µm range. It can record temperatures between -32ºC and 535ºC (-25ºF to 999ºF). It has a laser site that can be used for distances beyond 18 inches to accurately point the device. The distance to measured spot ratio is 12:1 so at 36 inches you measure a 3 inches diameter circle. This is an extremely accurate and easy to use device.

Two notes of caution: The ST20 Pro will measure glass surfaces such as a window, not the object beyond it. Shiny or polished metal surfaces produce inaccurate results without prior preparation.

Eppley Precision Spectral Pyranometer (PSP)

This radiometer measures sun and sky irradiance in the range of wavelengths 0.285 to 2.8 microns, including most of the solar spectrum. The PSP is intended to weight the energy flux in all wavelengths equally. It is a 'hemispheric receiver' intended to approximate the cosine response for oblique rays. You can find more information about the pyranometer on the CEO FAQ page.





Hand-held GPS units

The Center has several Garmin eTrex handheld GPS receivers available for student use. These compact units can be used in the field to record site locations in latitude/longitude or UTM eastings/northings coordinate systems.









Vertically Pointing Doppler Radar

The METEK FM/CWTM Doppler radar operates at 24.1 GHz in the K-Band part of the microwave spectrum. It is designed to determine the droplet size distribution of falling raindrops and the rainfall rate as a function of altitude. The location of the snow-to-rain melting level can also be detected. The radar is located on the roof of KGL, but it can be relocated to the field for specific projects.