Remote Sensing Essentials

By Prof. Arun K. Saraf   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 1757
The proposed course provides basic understanding about satellite based Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing technologies. Presently, remote sensing datasets available from various earth orbiting satellites are being used extensively in various domains including in civil engineering, water resources, earth sciences, transportation engineering, navigation etc. Google Earth has further made access to high spatial resolution remote sensing data available to non-experts with great ease. Knowledge of Digital Image Processing of satellite data allows to process raw satellite images for various applications.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Under- / Post-graduate engineering and post graduate science students / PhD candidates
PREREQUISITES : Remote Sensing / Geoinformatics companies, e.g NIIT, ESRI India, Leica Geoinformatics, MapmyIndia etc
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1   :
Rudiments of remote sensing and advantages,
Historical Perspective of development of remote sensing technology,
EM spectrum, solar reflection and thermal emission,
Interaction of EM radiation with atmosphere including atmospheric scattering, absorption and emission,
Interaction mechanisms of EM radiation with ground, spectral response curves

Week 2   :
Laws of Radiation and their relevance in Remote Sensing,
Basis of remote sensing image representation,
Various Remote Sensing Platforms,
Multi-spectral scanners and imaging devices,
Significant characteristics of LANDSAT, SPOT, Sentinel sensors

Week 3   :
Prominent characteristics of IRS, Cartosat, ResourceSat sensors,
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle / Drone,
Passive Microwave Remote Sensing,
Image characteristics and different resolutions in Remote Sensing,
Different techniques of Image acquisition

Week 4   :
Importance of digital image processing,
Digital Image Processing Software,
Basic image enhancement techniques,
Colour representations and transforms,
Image Histograms and statistics

Week 5   :
Atmospheric errors and corrections,
Georeferencing Technique,
Digital Image Processing Software – Demonstration-1,
Image enhancement techniques –I,
Image enhancement techniques –II

Week 6   :
Digital Image Processing Software – Demonstration-2,
Spatial Filtering Techniques, Band rationing and PCA,
Frequency Doman Fourier Transformation,
Digital Image Processing Software – Demonstration-3,
Unsupervised image classification and density slicing techniques

Week 7   :
Supervised image classification techniques and limitations
Digital Image Processing Software – Demonstration-4
LiDAR Technique and applications
Mosaicking, subsets, sub-sampling techniques and applications,
False Topographic Phenomena and correction techniques-01

Week 8   :
False Topographic Phenomena and correction techniques-02,
High Spatial Resolution Satellite Images and limitations,
Basic Image Compression techniques and different image file formats,
Hyperspectral Remote Sensing,
Digital Image vs Digital Photograph

Week 9   :
NDVI and other indices,
Active Microwave Remote Sensing-01,
Active Microwave Remote Sensing-02,
Radar Images interpretation and applications,
SAR Interferometry (InSAR) Technique-01

Week 10 :
SAR Interferometry (InSAR) Technique-02,
Principles of image interpretation,
Image interpretation of different geological landforms, rock types and structures,
Remote Sensing of Moon and Mars,
Google Earth and its Applications

Week 11 :
Integrated applications of RS and GIS in groundwater studies-01,
Integrated applications of RS and GIS in groundwater studies-02,
Applications of Remote Sensing in Earthquake Studies-01,
Applications of Remote Sensing in Earthquake Studies-02

Week 12 :
Different sources of free satellite images,
Limitations of Remote Sensing Techniques

Books and references

1. Introduction to Remote Sensing”, (5th Ed.), The Guildford Press, New York, 2012.
2. Lillesand, T.M., Kiefer, R.W. and Chapman, J.W., “Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation”, (5th Ed.), John Wiley & Sons, 2007.
3. Gupta, R. P., “Remote Sensing Geology”, 2nd Ed., Springer, 2003.
4. Drury, S. A., “Image Interpretation in Geology”, 2nd Ed, Allen & Unwin, 1993.
5. Cracknell, A.P., “Introduction to Remote Sensing”, (2nd Ed.), Tylor & Francis, London, 1991.
6. Gonzalez, Rafael C. and Richard E. Woods “Digital Image Processing”, (3rd Edition) Pearson Education, London.

Instructor bio

Prof. Arun K. Saraf

IIT Roorkee
Dr. Arun K. Saraf is Ph. D. (Remote Sensing) from University of Dundee, United Kingdom. Presently he is working as Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and teaches courses on Remote Sensing, Digital Image Processing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Advanced GIS, Geomorphology, Geohydrology etc. to under- and post-graduate students of Geological Technology and Applied Geology. He was also Head of Department of Earth Sciences between Jan. 2012 Feb. 2015. He was first in the country to introduce GIS course to post-graduate students in the year 1990. In 1986, he was awarded National Fellowship to Study Abroad by Govt. of India for his doctoral degree. Further, in 1993 he was awarded Indo-US S&T Fellowship and worked in Goddard Space Flight Centre, NASA, USA for Post-Doctoral Research. He has been also awarded National Remote Sensing Award- 2001 by Indian Society of Remote Sensing and GIS Professional of the Year Award-2001 by Map India 2002 for his outstanding research contributions in the fields of Remote Sensing and GIS. Earlier, he has also been given several Khosla Research Awards and Prizes by then University of Roorkee. So far Prof. Saraf has published more than 100 research papers in journals of repute (ISI) and supervised 11 Ph.Ds. He was also Associate Editor of International Journal of Remote Sensing during 2003-2015. Through funding from DST, Min. of Earth Sciences, CSIR, Prof. Saraf has been able to establish and operating NOAA-HRPT Satellite Earth Station at IITR since Oct. 2002, first in any educational institute in the country. This Earth Station is still operational and acquiring data from NOAA-18 & 19 day-and-night. In recent past, Prof. Saraf has also recorded four courses viz. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Introduction to Remote Sensing, Digital Image Processing of Satellite Data, Digital Elevation Models and Applications and Global Navigation Satellite Systems under the NPTEL scheme.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store