DEVELOPMENT AND EXPERIMENTAL VERIFICATION OF KEY TECHNIQUES TO VALIDATE REMOTE SENSING PRODUCTS
Validation of remote sensing land products is a fundamental issue for Earth observation. Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST) has launched a high-tech R&D Program named ‘Development and experimental verification of key techniques to validate remote sensing products’ in 2011. This paper introduces the background, scientific objectives, research contents of this project and research result already achieved. The objectives of this project include (1) to build a technical specification for the validation of remote sensing products; (2) to investigate the performance, we will carry out a comprehensive remote sensing experiment on satellite - aircraft - ground truth and then modify Step 1 until reach the predefined requirement; (3) to establish a validation network of China for remote sensing products. In summer 2012, with support of the Heihe Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research (HiWATER), field observations have been successfully conducted in the central stream of the Heihe River Basin, a typical inland river basin in northwest China. A flux observation matrix composed of eddy covariance (EC) and large aperture scintillometer (LAS), in addition to a densely distributed eco-hydrological wireless sensor network have been established to capture multi-scale heterogeneities of evapotranspiration (ET), leaf area index (LAI), soil moisture and temperature. Airborne missions have been flown with the payloads of imaging spectrometer, light detection and ranging (LiDAR), infrared thermal imager and microwave radiometer that provide various scales of aerial remote sensing observations. Satellite images with high resolution have been collected and pre-processed, e.g. PROBA-CHRIS and TerraSAR-X. Simultaneously, ground measurements have been conducted over specific sampling plots and transects to obtain validation data sets. With this setup complex problems are addressed, e.g. heterogeneity, scaling, uncertainty, and eventually to fulfill the purpose of validation of remote sensing land products at pixel scale over heterogeneous surfaces.