Oceanography by Satellite

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1. Introduce students to space technologies and in particular to those which apply to marine studies. The emphasis is on data sensors carried in satellites (Satellite Oceanography).

2. Enter some knowledge about the history of space exploration and its application to Earth observation.

3. Introduce some knowledge about the nature of electromagnetic radiation, with presentation of some fundamental laws of radiation and their behavior in the atmosphere and at sea.

4. To deepen some issues relating to the application of space technologies to the sea, through the presentation of the main oceanographic satellites in the band of visible, infrared, microwaves and radar.

5. To acquire new services on the development of processing techniques and analysis (quantification) satellite data, and to practice in theoretical-practical classes while learning about some imaging software (eg BILKO, Seadas, BEAM, etc).


1. Section A - Introduction to Remote Sensing Techniques

1.1. Introduction to DR

1.1.1. Applications

1.1.2. Definitions, Concepts and Benefits

1.1.3. Brief History and Processes Basic Involved

1.2. Nature of the Electromagnetic Radiation

1.2.1. Definitions and Concepts

1.2.2. Fundamental laws

1.2.3. General behavior in the Atmosphere and Ocean

1.3. Basics of Remote Sensing

1.4. Satellites and Sensors

1.5. Image Processing and Image Interpretation

2. Section B - Application to Oceanography

2.1. Introduction

2.2. DR on Radiation Visible

2.2.1. Examples Types of sensors (CZCS, SeaWiFS, MODIS, MERIS, IRS-P4, Sentinel-3, etc.) Geophysical parameters obtained and its Applications to the Oceanographic Study Problems in calibration and application of these techniques to the study of Colour Oceans Software for processing

2.3. DR Thermal Infrared

2.4. Oceanographic applications from other satellites

3. Current development and operational programs

Teaching Methodologies

The mode of transmission of the syllabus, which is theoretical/theoretical-practical/ presential, shall be made through slide show, videos and practical exercises in classes. These are taught in order to encourage students to this field through open "discussions" in the classroom, but also through practical classes. These encourage student’s participation and collaboration. It is also encouraged, students curiosity and discover of new ideas, new applications, and new forms of image analysis.

At the end it will be available the most relevant supporting documentation through the learning platform "Moodle" and Dropbox. All classes will be available to students in "pdf" format where summaries are also incorporated. In each lecture, specific literature on the topics presented. Each lecture will be provided to students specific literature on the topics presented in class shall be provided.


Acker,J., Shen, S., Leptoukh, G., Serafino, G., Feldman, G. & McClain, C. (2002). SeaWiFS ocean color data archive and distribution system: assessment of system performance. IEEE Trans. Geosci. and Rem. Sens., 40: 90-103.

hlnüs, K. and Royer, T.C. (1989). Application of satellite visible band data to high latitude oceans. Rem. Sens. Environ., 28: 85-93.

Antoine, D., Babin, M., Berthon, J-F., Bricaud, A., Gentili, B., Loisel, H., Maritorena, S. and Stramski , D. (2014). Shedding Light on the Sea: Andrť Morelís Legacy to Optical Oceanography. Annu. Rev. Marine. Sci. 6: 1-21.

Asrar, G., Kaye, J. A., Morel, P. (2001) NASA Research Strategy for Earth System Science: Climate Component. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 82(7), 1309-29.

Astoreca R, Rousseau V, Ruddick K, Knechciak C, Van Mol B, Parent J-Y and Lancelot, C. (2009). Development and application of an algorithm for detecting Phaeocystis globosa blooms in the Case 2 Southern North Sea waters. Journal of Plankton Research 31(3): 287-300.



ECTS Credits



  • Seminário - 2 hours
  • Teóricas - 16 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 12 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • 1st Frequency: 50%
  • 2nd Frequency: 50%