My research is broadly focused in the field of remote sensing science. I am most interested in searching for new ways of visualizing problems and extracting information from remotely sensed data. This requires generating different approaches to gleaning information from data or making discoveries by testing previously held notions of the way things “work”. My research spans all areas of RS science, from the collection of data with airborne remote sensing systems to the development of algorithms to process these data.
New problems require new tools (even old problems need new tools), as the science of remote sensing has progressed from imaging and mapping to information extraction and integration, we need to improve our understanding of fundamental issues from geographic scale to light/target interactions. I have created a number of remote sensing systems to forward my interest in these areas. This work is conducted in one of our two on-campus laboratories or in my garage!
In Situ Systems:
I have also built and tested a series of advanced field and laboratory goniometers. Goniometers are precise positioning instruments that position sensors over targets to measure how light interacts with the surface. All surfaces reflect light in an anisotropic fashion and measurements of the reflected light with respect to angle gives us a better understanding of the role of various target attributes (biophysical and biochemical) – improving the quality and reliability of the remote sensing measurements that we make.
Airborne Systems: My interest in airborne remote sensing systems extends from my PhD research at Simon Fraser University. The ability to control the parameters of data captured for specific remote sensing applications is vital to furthering our development of imaging science. To date I’ve built a number of airborne remote sensing systems including a 6-band digital remote sensing system for testing in the summer of 2005, a photographic system was added in 2006 and the digital system was upgraded in 2008 to include high-resolution digital cameras and improved computing systems and power handling.
Recent research includes branching out my airborne system development to include Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) – these systems take advantage of a number of technological developments. The primary advantage being that there is no requirements for locating a pilot willing to fly with your camera system! Real advantages include, small size, autonomous flight, GPS navigation and image acquisition, gyroscopically controlled camera mounts, and off-the-shelf reliability. I have been working on two instrument busses (UAV’s) from MikroKopter in Germany and have developed an imaging instrument package that includes four spectral channels (visible and near IR wavelengths). Test flights in 2012 – with any luck.
I continue to pursue a variety of interests in the field of image texture and am working on image processing problems related to processing data with complex structures (spatial and spectral). My applied research is currently focused on improved biophysical and biochemical characterisation of agricultural crops using crop bidirectional reflectance features.
My interests in remote sensing as a powerful visual and scientific vehicle has lead to an interesting project that seeks to characterise spatial and spectral variation as differences in sound. This collaborative effort with Dr. A. William Smith from the Department of New Media, has begun to take on a life of its own. To date we have created unique sonic compositions from many Canadian cities and have also produced a variety of video compositions that go along with the sounds. We have had very good receptions to this research in both the scientific community and in the arts world. Our website further explains this walk on the wild side of remote sensing science