Use of Satellite Remote Sensing of Cloud and Rainfall for Selected Operational Applications in the Fields of Applied Hydrology and Food Production.
Available from UMI in association with The British Library. The material presented in this thesis takes the form of a series of discrete, but inter-related projects on subjects related to the use of satellite remote sensing techniques for selected applications in the fields of cloud, rainfall, vegetation and food production monitoring and assessment. Detailed literature reviews have been carried out on remote sensing techniques in these fields, in particular, for rainfall monitoring and the development of systems for food crop prediction from various rainfall, vegetation and crop monitoring algorithms. The second part of the thesis is devoted to a series of practical projects using five different and contrasting satellite rainfall monitoring techniques using visible and/or infrared imagery, three applied over the Sultanate of Oman and two over West Africa. The case studies applied over the Sultanate of Oman show a range of techniques from manual nephanalyses of Potential Rain Clouds and the derivation of a 20 year record of Tropical Cyclone tracks over the Arabian Sea, to the manual Bristol rainfall monitoring technique and its human-machine interactive successor BIAS, which are applicable to the analysis of short term extreme rainfall events. The remaining two techniques were developed simultaneously over West Africa. The first, namely, PERMIT (the Polar-orbiter Effective Rainfall Monitoring Technique), was developed by the Author, and the second, ADMIT (Agricultural Drought Monitoring Integrated Technique), by a colleague, Giles D'Souza. The development, testing on data from July and August 1985 and July 1986, and subsequent modification of the PERMIT technique is described. The 1986 Case Study results have been compared with the ADMIT results from the same data set, as part of a project funded by FAO to compare the performance of four Meteosat rainfall monitoring techniques (Snijders 1988). PERMIT was designed to be an economic, (in terms of satellite data and computer processing needs), automatic rainfall estimation technique suitable for use in environments where computer facilities are limited. Finally the PERMIT rainfall products have been compared with contemporaneous NOAA AVHRR Normalised Vegetation Index monthly composites. The relationships observed between these two satellite-derived products may contribute to the future development of a simple, low cost crop prediction scheme for developing countries. The main conclusion drawn from this research is that there is an urgent need for simple but effective rainfall and vegetation monitoring systems such as PERMIT, to be implemented operationally on low cost portable microcomputer systems which are readily installed in Developing Countries, where effective monitoring of such environmental elements can provide early warnings and reduce the impacts of drought inflicted famine disasters.
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- Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Remote Sensing, Agriculture: Agronomy