Remote Sensing Laboratory
Byrd Polar Research Center
Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere
Spaceborne remote sensing instruments provide our generation, indeed the first
generation, an opportunity to observe repeatedly all of Earth’s atmosphere,
lands, oceans, and ice. This technology has especially great utility for studying
the Earth’s polar regions, one of the remaining frontiers of human exploration.
The Remote Sensing Group is a world leader in remote sensing of polar regions
and enjoys an international reputation for its work in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The goals of the Remote Sensing Group are to document the properties of
Earth’s ice cover, to understand the physical mechanisms by which ice cover
changes, and to assess the implications of changing ice cover on the rest of the
Our core strategy has four elements: describe the physics of remote sensing for
icy terrain; develop algorithms that derive geophysical parameters from remote
sensing data; participate in instrument development and mission design; data
interpretation and geophysical model development. Our two primary scientific
objectives include mapping the velocity field of Antarctica, and establishing
time series observations of the physical properties of icy terrain from
pole-to-pole. Our aim is to perform change detection studies that rely on over
3 decades of high-resolution remote sensing data.